BAY COUNTY, Fla. - In an emergency situation, getting important information out as quick as possible is key.
"Throughout the year, you never know when an emergency situation is going to pop up," said Bill Dozier, Bay County Commissioner.
To ensure the residents of Bay County are safe officials are announcing a new emergency alert system.
"It's a really powerful tool that gives all the entities of government the ability to give accurate, timely information to the public that, in many cases, could mean saving their life," said Mark Bowen, Bay County Emergency Services Chief.
"Alert Bay" can inform residents of anything from severe weather, fire, floods or more routine announcements like road closures.
The Sheriff's Office will also use the system for crime-related emergencies.
"We intend to use this on critical law enforcement issues, when we've got a fugitive on the loose or a situation in a certain neighborhood, we'll be using that to push out information that will allow citizens to take protective action," said Tommy Ford, Bay County Sheriff.
It can even alert people the way they want to be alerted.
"If they want to get a text on their cell phone, this system can do that. If they want to receive a voice phone call, this system can do that. If they prefer to receive it via a social media platform like Facebook, this system will do that," said Bowen.
Alert Bay is only as strong as the number of citizens that sign up to use it.
"The key is, our citizens have to sign up," added Bowen.
To do so, click here.
"I want to make sure that the word gets out to as many people throughout the year, to everybody throughout the year to sign up for this system because it could save your life," said Dozier.
The system was provided by the state so it's completely free for the county and the users. It might actually save homeowners money on flood insurance by lowering the county's ISO rating.
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