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Emergency alert coming to Wayne

June 12, 2012

An electronic emergency system soon will be available to Wayne County residents through a grant from the Homeland Security Administration.

The system, Wayne County ReadyNotifyPA, will quickly notify participating residents of all emergencies by sending an email or text message to residents’ cell phones or other electronic devices. The service will be free, though the participant’s wireless carrier may charge a fee.

ReadyNotifyPA is a service provided by the Northeast Pennsylvania Regional Counter Terrorism Task Force that will be brought to Wayne County by the Wayne County Emergency Management Administration (EMA).

“The system will help local officials in Wayne send emergency text alerts and other notifications to you quickly,” said Peter Hooker, deputy director of the Wayne County EMA. “Messages can be sent to your cell phone, pager, Smartphone and/or email devices.”

He also said that residents will have to elect to have the service provided.

As an example, Hooker related the story of an emergency that happened in Louisiana, when school children had to be evacuated from school and their parents did not know where they should go to pick them up. A similar occurrence happened a few years ago, when a school bus hit a propane truck on River Road, and because there was no way to contact parents, they did not know what to do to get their children.

“This kind of thing need not happen now,” he said.
Hooker also said that Wayne County EMA would send out the alerts either to everyone or to specific groups of individuals, depending upon the alert type. “Read these messages right away and follow the instructions,” Hooker said.

Hooker indicated that public notices would be circulated through media and printed notices when the time comes. “We won’t be ready for a few days or maybe weeks,” he said.
For more information call Wayne County EMA at 570/253-5970, ext. 4220.