MARSHALL, Mich. (WOOD) — You can now sign up to receive emergency alerts from Calhoun County authorities for potentially hazardous weather, traffic, and emergency situations.
The sheriff’s office emergency management division and county dispatch will start using the Rave Alerts System starting on Aug. 1.
Residents can choose to sign up to get alerts on their phone, text messages, or email by either texting CALHOUN to 67283. They can text CCTRAFFIC to 67283 for traffic alerts.
However, the county said the best way is to create a profile on Smart911 and download the app. Smart911 is owned by the same company as Rave Alerts. On your Smart911 profile, you can choose how you’d like to get notifications (voice, text, and/or email) and which ones you’d like (emergency, weather, and/or traffic alerts).
A Smart911 profile is designed to store a Safety Profile for each household that can include any information they may want first responders to have in an emergency. When a resident with a Smart911 profile calls dispatch, their information will immediately display on the dispatcher’s screen, which can save time in emergency response.
Calhoun County said they decided to use Rave Alerts because there are functions to target alerts to a specific area, and other county agencies will be able to work with dispatch to use the service. It is also connected to the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, which already allows agencies to send emergency notifications directly to phones.
Rave Alerts are already in place in other places in West Michigan. In 2017, there was a tornado in Ionia County’s Lake Odessa. Sirens never sounded due to a radio receiver failure. However, residents with Rave Alerts and Smart911 received alerts. Afterward, officials reminded residents sign up for the emergency alert systems.
Later that year, Rave Alerts helped to warn the community around Grand Rapids Community College that a gun magazine had been found on campus, delaying classes.