City's emergency alert failed during storm - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

City's emergency alert failed during storm

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TUSCALOOSA - AL -     Tuscaloosa city leaders have discovered its Emergency Alert system failed during last Monday night's tornado warning.  

    People registered within the so-called polygon of danger issued by the National Weather Service automatically receive a phone call, text message or an email.  But, it didn't happen.  "For whatever reason it did not go out.  The company that provides the service is looking into that right now.  They're doing an investigation.  Its a complex system.  It erred somewhere in the configuration.  The company hasn't gotten back with us yet.  We spoke with them last week," said Jeff Motz, GIS manager for Tuscaloosa.
 
    The company is Blackboard Connect.
 
    City leaders say it was the first issue with the system since it launched last April.  In the meantime, the city will manually initiate warnings through the Emergency Alert and continue to do so when it is fixed.  " You might get two.  But, as the city of Tuscaloosa we rather inconvenience our citizens with two messages than put any body in danger," added Motz.

    The Emergency Alert system is funded through a Hazard Mitigation grant FEMA award the city of Tuscaloosa after the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak.
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