Good news has come to Upson County with the recent awarding of a $15,630 grant from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) for an Early Warning Notification System that will warn residents by phone, text or email.
The board first began looking into an Early Warning Notification System after the tornados that struck nearby communities in 2011. Former Commissioner Rusty Blackston had worked with the 911 Board, EMS and the City of Thomaston to see what would be feasible for such a system in our area. The initiative is now being headed up by EMA Director Billy Mitcham and District Three Commissioner Ralph Ellington. Having such a system in place would allow alerts to be sent out to residents in the event of severe weather or other emergencies in the area.
“Mass alert warning systems can potentially save lives due to better information reaching people quickly and in a manner they can use. The mass alert is geographically based so when an emergency happens, the message is sent via phone, text or email only to those in the specific impacted area,” said GEMA Director Charley English in a press release.
The amount awarded to Upson County includes a federal share of $11,723. The remainder will come from a state share of $1,562 and a local share of $2,345.