November 30, 2016
Howard County has decided to retire its use of the Heads-Up-Howard Public Alert System. Due to ever-changing technological improvements used to communicate electronically, the County’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has decided to move in another direction and shift its non-emergency messaging to a new service that will allow for better communication and interaction.
Emergency messaging will now be done through geographic targeting landlines and cell phones using a system called Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). IPAWS was created through a Presidential Executive Order, requiring that our nation have a more effective and reliable alert system for various situations that would affect public safety. IPAWS only works on cell phones that have wireless emergency alerts (WEA) enabled, so please confirm with your service provider if you would like to have this service turned on.
The Office of Emergency Management also recommends that you have a NOAA all hazards radio for your home. All hazards radios broadcast Federal, State, and Local emergency messages and post-event information for all types of hazards including natural (such as hurricanes), environmental (oil spills), and public safety (AMBER alerts).
Weather alerts are available through a variety of mobile applications and websites which can be found here: www.weather.gov/subscribe.
You can follow Howard County Government on a variety of social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, through the County’s email newsletter service, and online.
You can also follow the Office of Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the change, please contact the Public Information Office at (410)-313-2022.
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