The system providing emergency alerts to Tishomingo residents will soon be expanded to all of Johnston County.


The system providing emergency alerts to Tishomingo residents will soon be expanded to all of Johnston County.

 

The Johnston County Board of Commissioners voted 3-0 Monday night to approve a contract enabling county-wide participation in the Connect-CTY system.

 

The Blackboard Connect system, created by California based Blackboard Connect Inc., is a mass-messaging system designed to send out time-sensitive information to communities without building a new infrastructure. To the residents of Johnston County, that means text messages warning of impending severe weather.

 

“It’ll be a storm alert,” said Roy Wayne Blevins, County District 1 County Commissioner. “They’ll get a message on their cell phone for any emergencies.”

 

The effort to expand the service outside Tishomingo began after the May 10 tornado touched down in Coleman, knocking down power lines and damaging property.

 

Blevins said the system can also be used for any other non-tornado related emergencies.

 

“Ice storms, power outages, a rural water line break, any kind of disaster,” Blevins said.

 

The Board voted two weeks ago to approve the expansion. Under the terms of the contract approved Monday, county-wide participation will cost Johnston County $9,893 annually.

 

“It’s a good move for public safety,” Blevins said.

 

Testing of the new county-wide system is scheduled to begin July 1.