County urges CivicReady weather alert signup

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, August 25, 2021

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Last week, an early morning tornado warning was issued for a northeast portion of Troup County, including the city of Hogansville.

The warning, prompted by Tropical Storm Fred, sent the tornado sirens into action and resulted in many mornings that began a few hours earlier than expected. Now, Troup County leadership is hoping the warning will prompt more citizens to sign up for its CivicReady emergency alert notification program, which sends out real-time warnings when there’s bad weather in the area. Unlike the sirens, which blare all over the county regardless of the storm’s location, CivicReady alerts people within the polygon — or bad weather area — so that they can get to a safe location.

“It would really only notify those individuals that would be in the potential path of the storm,” Mosley said. “The rest of the county could sleep right through it and not really need to worry.”

Mosley said there are thousands of people signed up for the CivicReady system, with several registering after last week’s tornado scare, but they’d certainly love to have more.

“We’d love to get 70,000, that’s everybody,” Mosley said.

He noted that the county doesn’t have enough tornado sirens to cover the entire county. Plus, sirens were never really meant to be used as indoor indicators for tornado warnings, just to warn those outside.

“I would assume the majority of the citizens from the county were fast asleep at 4:30,” Mosley said, noting the time the tornado warning was issued.

“And I would bet they might hear their phone ringing in their house, or a weather alert on their phone, but probably not a whaling siren that might be a few miles with their home.”

Mosley said to provide coverage to the entire county from sirens, it would require the purchase of another 20 to 30. He said as technology improves, there have been discussions on moving sirens from areas to where people might be outside, like parks.

To sign up for CivicReady, visit Alerts can be sent via a call, text, or email.