County’s emergency alert system up and running

Residents need to enroll cell phone numbers

 by Jennie ZeitlerStaff Writer

Morrison County now has a way to notify large groups of residents in response to events such as storms, missing persons, fugitive alerts, utility failures and other emergencies.

Everbridge is now up and running, Sheriff Michel Wetzel reported to the County Board Tuesday morning.

“We’ve rolled out the mass communication system,” Wetzel said. “Calls can be sent out to specific areas or to the entire county.”

Morrison County is home to more than 32,000 residents. Emergency notification for fire departments and first responders has been done with a pager system.

“With the Everbridge solution, we can send broad alerts to responders as well as to all area residents based on location or other criteria,” said Wetzel.

Everbridge’s reporting features will allow the County to confirm receipt of notifications as well.

Contact preferences in the system can be updated at any time.

“Everbridge does not sell or provide your phone information to any other company or vendor,” Wetzel said.

Currently, only published phone numbers are listed in the system. Individuals or families who do not have landline telephones will need to go to the County’s website to enroll their cell phone numbers and/or email addresses.

“The system’s only as good as the information we’ve got in it,” said Wetzel.

“It would be good to see everybody in the county enrolled,” said Scott Mac Kissock, Morrison County emergency manager. “If we have severe weather, missing children, vulnerable adults or other situations, we’ll use Everbridge.”

To enroll a cell phone  number or email address, visit www.co.morrison.mn.us. Click on the “Morrison County Citizen Alert Signup” tab on the left side.

Wetzel encourages those without a computer to ask for help from a friend, family member or neighbor.

Those with a landline phone do not need to enroll. Their number is already in the system.

Morrison County Board Briefs

Other business that came before the Morrison County Commissioners Tuesday included:

• Approving the 2014 budget for the Fish Trap Lake Improvement District with no change in the assessment of $40;

• Approving the acceptance of state grant funds to facilitate computerizing abstracts using Property Record Information System of Minnesota (PRISM). The amount is yet to be determined by the number of counties applying for the total of $300,000, said Assessor Glen Erickson;

• Learning that the Extension Service’s “I Can Prevent Diabetes” class has a waiting list for the next class due to start in January;

• Approving a resolution for the County to sponsor the Eastern Morrison County 4-Wheeler Club for fiscal year 2014;

• Approving a two-year contract with attorney Scott Wonderlich as public defender in cases involving any child in need of protection or termination of parental rights; and

• Hearing a request from Ron Rinkel of Mud Fest for the County Board to review the large assembly ordinance. The topic will be on the agenda at the Board’s next planning meeting, Friday, Dec. 13.

The next Board meeting will be Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 9 a.m. in the board room of the County Government Center.

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