PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Some Bay County residents in Southport believe technical issues are preventing them from receiving Alert Bay notices, but county officials say the problem could be the way they’ve set up the app.
Sunday morning, a broken water main in Southport prompted county officials to send out an Alert Bay message advising residents to boil their water, but a number of residents are upset, saying they never received the notice. Officials think some of them may have their emergency alerts silenced.
“About a year ago there was a statewide notification that went out to everybody in the wee hours of the morning that may have prompted some people to turn off alert or to disengage from the program,” said Bay County Public Information Officer Valerie Sale. “We’re really encouraging folks to make sure that they’re signed up for Alert Bay.”
Officials also believe some residents don’t have the Alert Bay notifications activated. You need to log into your account, select the city you want to know about and select which type of emergency alerts you want to receive. You can even block out times you don’t want to be disturbed.
“Some of the things you want to think about are boil water notices, traffic alerts, or general information,” said Emergency Preparedness Section Chief Eric Kunzman. “These are notifications that could save your life.”
Officials admit the app has had some past technical errors, but they’re improving the app to be more efficient in the future.
“Next time there’s a more widespread boil water notice, we’re going to take it an extra step,” said Sale. “There’s a tool Inside Alert Bay on our end where we can draw a map and it will notify everyone within the parameters of that map.”
You can find a sign-up link for Alert Bay here.