Local News

Jun 17, 2013 2:05 PM

City and County Officials Unveil New Emergency Alert System

NUECES COUNTY - Corpus Christi and Nueces County leaders today unveiled a new emergency alert system.

The internet-based system called "Reverse Alert" allows residents to select what type of emergency notifications they receive, and how they receive them.

The various types of notifications relate to law enforcement, fire, industry, utility outages, and more.

Users can opt to receive those alerts via home phone, cell phone, text, email, or a combination.

The system is called "Reverse Alert", which was designed by the company Everbridge.

The cost to use the system in the first year, which includes some startup expenses and an education campaign, is around $100,000.

In the three years to follow, the cost will be $80,000.

Deputy Fire Chief Rich Quintero said the Reverse Alert system replaces two previous alert systems.

Nixle, which includes about roughly 10,000 users, was used to send out text alerts in the event of an emergency. Dial Logic was used to call homes in the area of an emergency.

Quintero said they opted to go with Everbridge because of the increasing cost of Nixle, and because the new alert system combines the two older systems into one.

Everbridge also allows officials to better tailor their alerts to particular areas, according to zip code or even a hand-drawn area of the city or county.

According to Quintero, it was used to notify surrounding homes and businesses when a propane tanker overturned at the base of the Harbor Bridge.

He says 13,000 phone calls were made in 20 minutes using the new system.

To register for the alerts, sign up at the following link:

www.reversealert.org.

A similar system was recently used by Boston city officials immediately after the marathon terror bombings.

NOTE: Nixle will still be used for the next few months, until city and county leaders feel an adequate number of people have signed up for the new system.

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