Jackson County Warning System On The Way - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/05/02

Jackson County Warning System On The Way

Soon, a new warning system will notify people when there's an emergency in their neighborhood. The system will be extremely important to residents who live near Industrial Road. In October an explosion at First Chemical forced nearby residents to stay in their homes. People found out about the incident through the media or law enforcement.

"Currently, the only way to warn people of a chemical release or any type of emergency in a neighborhood is to go door to door and it's simply old fashion and dangerous," says Todd Adams, Civil Defense Director. But soon a new computer system will automatically notify residents when an emergency occurs. "We can go in there and circle on the computer a neighborhood or a street, and it will automatically call them," says Adams. The system will be connected to twelve phone lines here at the civil defense office. The person on the other end will get an automated message, letting them know what necessary precautions they need to take.

"So you can call 10, 20, 30, 40 homes in a relatively short period of time and give them a short message... and say there's an incident occurring right now. You need to shelter in place, stay inside, or evacuate," says Adams. Industries like Chevron and First Chemical are helping to pay for the system. "It just makes good sense to let everyone know within the community of anything that's going on that may affect them," says David McMellon, Fisrt Chemical Corporation.

By: Myya Robinson

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