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News Review
Mass Notification System Designed to Reach Residents in Times of Emergencies
Posted Date: 4/23/2013
JOHNSON COUNTY, KAN. (April 23, 2013) – Through a partnership with Johnson County, cities and Water One, a collaborative, free mass notification system called NotifyJoCo has been developed to notify people who live work or play in Johnson County of emergencies in their area. In light of the incident in Boston on April 16, it has become increasingly important that residents sign-up for this important service so local communities can communicate with impacted people in case of any emergency.

Using contact information provided by users, NotifyJoCo allows local governments and utilities to notify the public about issues affecting locations they identify. Emergency notifications will be sent in cases needing an immediate response, such as terrorist attacks, tornado warnings, evacuation notices and public health alerts.

"We are collaborating to implement a shared mass notification system that will provide quick and reliable emergency notifications to our citizens and businesses. We want to ensure our residents are informed before, during and after significant events, so that we do our part to protect the lives and property of our communities," said Ellen Wernicke, Deputy Director, Johnson County Emergency Communications Center.

To use the system, residents should go to www.NotifyJoCo.org to register their personal contact preferences. They will be asked to provide their contact information. Users can then identify multiple locations they care about (home, work, or their child’s school, for example), and choose which messages they would like to receive. Residents who do not have internet access may call 913.826.5555 to register their information. All information provided will be kept confidential and only used to contact citizens about emergencies and topics in which they have expressed interest.

When there is an event requiring a message to be sent, authorized county and city officials will identify the affected areas and send out the message through NotifyJoCo via phone, e-mail or text message. The system has the ability to send out a minimum of 100,000 notifications per hour, allowing NotifyJoCo to reach citizens immediately in emergency situations.

The system, which is free to the public, is an unprecedented effort between Johnson County, Water One, and the cities of Lenexa, Mission Hills, Olathe, Overland Park, Prairie Village and Shawnee. The entities are working with Everbridge, Inc., a leading firm in emergency and incident alert systems, to implement NotifyJoCo.

Information will be available through County and participating municipal offices and online at www.NotifyJoCo.org . Look for Miles the Martian (mascot for NotifyJoCo).