City of Tuscaloosa reached 16,000 with emergency alerts during s - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

City of Tuscaloosa reached 16,000 with emergency alerts during snowstorm

Source: WBRC video Source: WBRC video

Last week's wintry weather provided a big test for Tuscaloosa's early warning system. The system sends out alerts via text messages, phone calls and emails. In this case, the system sent out alerts of closed roads due to the icy conditions.

"We felt like it was a good opportunity to try and the system without having something that we thought wasn't maybe quite as pressing of an emergency," Robin Edgeworth, Director of Tuscaloosa's Recovery Operations, said. "As we expect that sometime in the future we may have."

Edgeworth tells FOX6 News that out of the 25,000 people who registered to receive the alerts, 16,000 were successfully reached. But the system did have a few hiccups, which the city says it will fix.

"We'll be working on making certain that people recognize the number if it comes up on their caller ID. And they don't just ignore the call. We'll try to figure out a way to make certain that individuals know when we're calling," Edgeworth said.

This emergency alert system, which is funded by a FEMA grant, came online earlier this year near the second anniversary of the April 27, 2011 tornado. Edgeworth encourages everyone to sign up for it.

"We're hoping that people will see this as a life-saving measure," Edgeworth added.

Edgeoworth says the system will also warn people about chemical spills and other hazards.

To sign up, log on to and enter your information to receive the alerts.

Copyright 2014 WBRC. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly