Black Hawk County drops emergency alert system - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Black Hawk County drops emergency alert system

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BLACK HAWK COUNTY (KWWL) - Hundreds of people will soon go through winds of change when it comes to staying aware of the storms we track.

That's because some counties are changing services that handle automated calls and text messages to your phone in case of a storm warning or other alert.

In Black Hawk County, the emergency management commission is ending its contract with the company that sends out "Black Hawk Alerts." It sends out automated phone calls or text messages to your phone.

There are plans for a different system, but there will be a few months when these types of phone alerts won't be available.

Black Hawk Emergency Management coordinator Lorie Glover says the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management decided to purchase the new statewide system.

Changing to the new statewide system would significantly save Black Hawk County money. Right now, Black Hawk County pays $36,000 per year.

A statewide vendor will be determined soon, but there will be a period when people currently signed up for weather alerts on their phone won't get notifications.

"Either purchase a weather radio -- and those are pretty inexpensive, between $20 and $30, usually. You can purchase those anywhere, the larger box stores have them -- or pay attention to the local news media," said Glover.

Glover says it could take four to six months for the new system to be available. There are about 1500 people in Black Hawk County who receive "Black Hawk Alerts."

You can also get free severe weather text alerts from KWWL by clicking here: http://www.kwwl.com/link/409099/kwwl-mobile-alerts-sign-up
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