In partnership with Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management and 89 other Iowa Counties, the current alerting system will be switching to a new platform. ALL RESIDENTS MUST REGISTER ON THE NEW SYSTEM TO CONTINUE RECEIVING ALERTS AFTER JULY 1, 2021.
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Alert Iowa is the State of Iowa’s official emergency notification system. Through Alert Iowa, State and local officials are able to utilize a single, statewide notification system that provides local control of how and when to disseminate emergency and public safety messages to residents.
State requirements mandated that the existing contract be submitted out for additional bids before renewal. During that process a new vendor was selected that offers more features, capabilities, and resident options. Simply put, we will have a more robust, reliable, and secure alerting system.
The new platform features custom & user-selected alerts in multiple languages; the ability for residents to identify their access & functional needs for disaster preparedness & response; and the ability for local officials to integrate alerts into a single system across various communications platforms.
Those registered can include all household members as well as additional locations such as work or school. Community-based options also provide a quick way to receive alerts for various communities to help keep other family members safe. Additional opt-in lists will be created for other custom notifications, so creating and keeping your account up to date is important.
Check out this quick video for an overview on registration.
This is a complete vendor and platform switch for the alert system. If you do NOT re-enroll into Alert Iowa by June 30, 2021 you will no longer receive any community-based or severe weather notifications and alerts.
A communication tool used to communicate information on inclement weather, emergencies, and matters of public safety to you in a timely manner. You can sign up for Alert Iowa through the Pottawattamie County Emergency Management website. Features include:
When emergencies happen, be the first to know. Emergency Management will use Alert Iowa to send official, real-time alerts to the public with information about potentially life-saving actions they may need to take to keep themselves and their families safe. By signing up for Alert Iowa you are taking a large step toward improving your personal safety and the resilience of our county and communities.
You can visit your local library to sign up online for Alert Iowa. Additionally, Emergency Management will periodically announce and conduct registration events where on-site staff can assist you in registering for the system.
When an emergency occurs that meets the criteria for sending out an alert to the public, Emergency Management will gather the necessary information and push out an alert to the affected area. Alerts can be sent out county-wide or to a specific area.
This service is provided at no cost to the public; however, message and data rates may apply depending on your provider and phone services.
While Alert Iowa is an excellent system, we cannot guarantee that you will receive notification in all cases. Disasters and emergencies are chaotic and unpredictable, and notification is dependent on external providers such as your wireless carrier or email delivery service outside the alert originators control. Alert Iowa will use several means of communications to try to ensure that should any one communications method, technology, or delivery option be unavailable to reach residents, other methods will be used to improve the likelihood that citizens will see the message. You should sign up to receive multiple modes of contact, including voice, text, and email. Text messages are more likely to get through to you if lines are busy due to an emergency. Downloading Smart911 also provides another mode of communication and alerting.
Emergency alerts are sent 24/7 when there is an immediate threat to life and/or property. These would include alerts such as, but not limited to:
In addition to emergency alerts, you can also choose to receive customizable alerts and community notifications that are only delivered (generally) between the hours of 6am & 10pm. These include notifications about:
Voice messages provide a dial-back number to replay an alert message. Depending on who sent the alert and the type, it may or may not allow for you to reply to it. It is important to listen to or read the full message for any important contact information that pertains to that message.
Once you have signed up and confirmed your contact information within the system, you will begin receiving alerts.
Follow the below steps to change your Alert Iowa preferences (for example, to reduce the number of messages of a certain type, or to change the contacts used for each kind of message):
1. Go to pcema-ia.org.
2. Login using your Alert Iowa username and password (If you’ve forgotten these, follow the instructions on the page under “Forgot Username or Password?”).
3. Once signed in, click the ‘Preferences’ tab at the top.
4. Under ‘Notification Preferences’, you can make changes to both the phone numbers and email addresses on which you want to receive messages by clicking or unclicking the checkboxes.
5. You can also choose what alerts you want to receive and the method you wish to receive them by (text, voice, email).
The frequency for which you receive alerts depends on the addresses you provide and the types of alerts you select to receive as well as the frequency of actual emergencies. Emergency alerts will only be sent when there is an immediate threat to life and/or property. Community notifications will be sent when the criteria for sending an alert are met. This system is not intended to bombard you with information. Alerts will only be sent to you about the information you select to receive. To change your alert settings, login to your corresponding account to update your preferences as described above.
If a call completes and is sent to your answering machine or voice mail system, a message is left. If a phone call is not answered or busy, the system redials your number several times.
NO, your information is private and will not be used or distributed in any manner. The information that you provide is exempt from public disclosure and will be used for emergency preparedness and response purposes only.
Personal information provided to Alert Iowa is private and only used to notify you for official communications and to support county and local emergency services.
Your information is not used for marketing purposes and will not be sold to telemarketers or data-mining organizations. A variety of “opt-in” mechanisms are available to ensure you are getting just the messages you want to receive, delivered via the devices and communications modes that you choose.
Alert Iowa utilizes the highest standards in physical and computer security technologies and conducts regular audits to ensure all information is kept secure. Privacy policies are also outlined in the Terms and Conditions you review when you sign up to receive Alert Iowa notifications.
Pottawattamie County Emergency Management Agency
Proudly serving Pottawattamie County and the communities of Avoca, Carson, Carter Lake, Council Bluffs, Crescent, Hancock, McClelland, Macedonia, Minden, Neola, Oakland, Treynor, Underwood, and Walnut.
Copyright © 2019 Pottawattamie County Emergency Management Agency. All Rights Reserved.
MEMBER - Iowa Emergency Management Association
The Alert Iowa System is changing platforms. All residents must re-register to receive emergency alerts & community notices. The current system will be discontinued on June 30, 2021.