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Callaway switches emergency notification system, re-enrollment necessary for alerts

Callaway County residents who want to be notified of severe weather, natural disasters and other emergencies will need to re-enroll for that service.

Callaway County Emergency Management Director Michelle Kidwell said the county has switched to a new notification model, the Everbridge System for Citizen Alerts, which she wrote in a press release will “help save lives and manage critical activities.”

Like the previous system, Everbridge will notify county residents of emergencies using a range of methods including cell phones, land lines, email and text messaging.

Western District Commissioner Doc Kritzer said local officials decided to make the switch because they were not satisfied with the old company’s ability to provide those services.

He said Callaway officials met last year with officials from Ameren electric company as well as Montgomery and Osage counties who also were dissatisfied with their notification systems to discuss their options. They eventually chose Everbridge, which had recently been adopted by Audrain County.

“(Everbridge) met a lot of criteria we were wanting,” Kritzer said. “We can send an emergency response within 30 minutes if we have a natural disaster coming, and we were able to create different groups, so if a tornado or severe weather is coming we don’t have to send the message to everyone in the county, we can follow the path of where the storm is going and send a message to people in the affected area.

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