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Scott County Launches New Emergency Notification System


Scott County is rolling out a new emergency alert system to provide faster and more reliable information during emergencies.

Brian Payne is the Deputy Director of the Scott County Emergency Management Agency. He says the new system, called Alert Iowa, allows communities and residents flexibility in the messages they send and receive.

"You are 100% in control of your account. You decide what messages you want to receive, how you want to receive them, when you want to receive them. And that way as time goes on, you can make the decision to change and edit all of those decisions at the same time."

The new system lets users choose which messages they'll receive, ranging from emergency notifications, weather information and utility outages to trash collection and recreational events. It also comes with expanded translation options for dozens of languages.

"It's a matter of a few clicks from out side of the system. So if you speak Arabic, Chinese, Spanish--the system will automatically translate the message that we are sending to you, whether that be emergent, urgent, or non-emergent messaging."

This week, every resident of Scott County will receive a postcard in the mail with information about how to register for the service. They can use the Smart 911 phone app or web portal to create an account using a name and phone number.

Senior citizens can receive free help creating and managing their accounts from the Milestones Area Agency on Aging by calling 1-855-410-6222 during the week.

Aaryan Balu first set foot in audio journalism at WTJU Charlottesville and WRIR Richmond, and now works as WVIK Quad Cities NPR's Fellowship Host.