New weather alert system could be coming to Hartford

When severe weather is coming, it is important to know how you are going to get your information and when to take cover.
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 5:27 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HARTFORD, Ala. (WTVY) - Changes could be coming to the alert weather system in Hartford.

“Hartford from what I understand has four sirens, two of which are not in service right now,” said Brian Smith, EMA Director of Geneva County.

The lack of sirens is a big concern for Smith, but he is also concerned the method may be outdated.

“Unfortunately, it is old technology. There is not a lot of new systems that come out in that realm,” said Smith. “Sometimes, it is hard to get parts for them. Even though you can tell what’s wrong with it, it doesn’t do you any good if you cant get the part to fix it.”

Plus, the sirens were originally made for people working outdoors, such as farmers. These sirens aren’t built to help all residents.

“Personally, I live a mile from my closest siren, and if it’s raining hard, I can’t hear it,” said Smith.

With the growing concerns, Smith suggested Hyper-Reach to the Hartford board members during their typical Monday meeting.

Hyper-Reach has been used by the county since December of 2022 and allows for consumers to personalize alerts that they want, from thunderstorms, flash floods and tornadoes.

“Citizens can sign up for weather notifications and set it up to work with your house phone, cell phone, or even Alexa,” said Smith. “You get that instant notification as soon as that warning comes from the National Weather Service. You are getting it the same time I am getting it.”

The town of Hartford has not decided if they will completely transition to the application, but residents are able to download it now for county alerts.

“From our experience, the mass notification system with cell phones is a lot more reliable and newer technology,” said Smith. “Not to say there is anything wrong with sirens, but there is more things that can go wrong.”

Hartford and Geneva County residents interested in Hyper-Reach can sign up multiple ways:

Users will have to go into Hyper-Reach and pick what kind of alerts they would like to receive.

Subscribe to our News 4 newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email every morning. Get instant notifications on top stories from News 4 by downloading our mobile apps.