MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Elmore County is streamlining the way it manages emergencies and communicates with the public.
Tuesday, county officials rolled out a new emergency management app that will push information out to residents in seconds and helps families put together a severe weather plan ahead of a storm.
The app can notify you of weather warnings, road closures, and even allows you to submit damage reports with pictures to quickly get assistance.
The Midsouth RC&D, the non-profit group that awards state grant dollars, handed over a check for the project Tuesday. The nearly $12,000 grant covers the costs of development and the first year of maintenance. The County Commission will assume future expenses.
EMA Director Keith Barnett said the funding wasn’t in his budget and the grant filled the gap.
He and his team designed the app, which offers traffic alerts, weather warnings, even two-way communication. Residents can now file damage reports directly with the EMA and add GPS coordinates for first responders.
It also streamlines the EMA’s response during major events and helps them build a more comprehensive case to submit to FEMA for post-disaster assistance.
“If we don’t get to their house for hours, or sometimes even a couple days after the storm, and there’s been cleanup done, it doesn’t look like it did, and the damage is sometimes not as significant because repairs have already been started," Barnett explained.
The app also has a special needs registry. Any information you register will be passed along to dispatchers in the event first responders are ever called to your home. It’s free and now available for download on your smartphone by searching your App Store or Google Play for “Elmore EMA.”