Automated system rouses users with weather alert

Jan. 18, 2013 @ 05:02 AM

Some Lee County residents received an unexpected 4 a.m. phone call Thursday from Lee County's automated weather alert system, a program encouraged by emergency service officials. 

Residents can sign up for the DeltAlert system, which will then send out emails, phone calls or text messages with weather alerts — like the winter weather weather advisory issued Thursday — and other emergency service updates, said Lee County Emergency Services Technical Support Roger Millikin.  

"A bunch of calls went out (Thursday), plus text messages and emails," he said. "We'd love to get the information out about this system for more people to register."

Once the National Weather Service releases an alert for Lee County — sometimes in the middle of the night — the message is automatically sent out to people who've opted into the service, he said.

The alert system can also be used by the Lee County Sheriff's Office to provide instant, localized information, Millikin said. If there is an accident requiring people to evacuate, or a suspect is on the loose, residents who include their addresses can be sent a warning message. 

To access the DeltAlert System, people can go to the Lee County Government's website, www.leecountync.gov, and click the orange alert button on the left-hand side of the web page. 

"We are asking people to sign up if you want to hear from us," Millikin said. "It is very secure, and no one can get to the information. Right now, emergency services uses it for weather and the sheriff's office, and that is the only messages people will receive."