BY SUSAN SCHROCK email@example.com
Fort Worth and Arlington can already activate sirens to alert their communities about tornadoes and other emergencies, but both are working to get more detailed information into residents’ hands.
In October, Fort Worth is expected to become the first Tarrant County city to launch a hazard alert system designed to provide audio messages to blind residents and video messages in American Sign Language to deaf residents.
The city estimates that 50,000 residents could benefit from the free subscription service, which would send alerts to smartphones or computers.
“It will help us get a message to citizens who are not currently getting that warning,” said Juan Ortiz, the city’s emergency management coordinator.
Enrollment in the Accessible Hazard Alert System is expected to begin next month, he said.
Arlington is considering joining cities such as Fort Worth, Pantego, Kennedale and Roanoke that can send audio messages to home or business phones or text alerts to cellphones or e-mail accounts.
Emergency management officials are reviewing six systems and are expected to make a recommendation to the City Council by December.
The city began reviewing the notification systems after the April 3 tornado, which damaged more than 500 homes and businesses along Arlington’s western edge.
Two months earlier, several key thoroughfares were blocked after a Union Pacific train derailed downtown near City Hall.
“Be it man-made or a natural disaster, segments of the city could be impacted by something,” Fire Chief Don Crowson said. “The ability to provide a local impacted community with awareness of what is occurring may be a useful tool for us as we manage a response to a particular situation.”
No funding has been identified to buy a system, which could cost more than $100,000 a year, city officials said.
What are the
The system does the reverse of what a 911 call does by sending warnings to the public. It gives cities an additional way to warn residents to take shelter, especially when hail, high winds or loud televisions and radios could make the outdoor sirens harder to hear.
Since the mid-1990s, Fort Worth has been able to send audio messages to all land lines or just those in a specific area, Ortiz said.
Posted by: Jamie Schatten
Lead Reporter – DFW Alerts
We now have a way to bring you live breaking weather updates. When there is a severe weather breakout in the DFW Metroplex. We will now be able to broadcast live 1hr podcasts directly to you via DFW ALERTS SEVERE WEATHER UPDATES RADIO . Please follow us at that link (you can sign in with a Twitter or Facebook account) to say informed about severe weather in the DFW and surrounding areas.
Should it be required that we need more than an hour to keep you informed, we will start another 1 hour, live, pobcast to keep providing the information you need to keep you safe.
We will be able to do this for up to 20 hours. So, we hope that we will be able to provide all the information you will need in that amount of time.
We are requesting the assistance of our followers with a funding drive.
We currently have four “staff” reporters. All of our reporters have been using their own vehicles,gas and such.
We have the opportunity to take part in an upcoming police auction where retired police vehicles will be sold. We would like to be able to purchase a few of these for use by our reporters.
In order to be able to do this, we are asking for our followers and friends to please make a contribution to DFW ALERTS, in any amount. You can do so by making a payment to: firstname.lastname@example.org via PayPal or you can contact us at: email@example.com for the address to send a check/money order to rep. that handles our funds.
THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR SUPPORT.
P.S.: Bank-to-Bank transfer may also be possible for large contributions.
Recently we have been notified that people are unfollowing the @DFW_Alerts (DFW ALERTS CAC) twitter account due to the volume of tweets.
Please understand that @DFW_Alerts is the Central Alert Control (CAC) account and handles most, if not all, of the tweets that go out via our automated accounts. It also tweets out local and national news.
If you prefer we have two automated accounts. One is dedicated to traffic and one to weather. They are:
I am working on a way to create an account that will provide on DFW related news. If this is something you would be interested in, please let us know at: firstname.lastname@example.org
What kinds of stories would you like to see us post more of here?
We will do our best to find stories that appeal to as many of you that respond as we can.
Thank you for your input.