A new alert system is in the works for all parts of McDonough County. The goal is to make residents in rural areas more aware in an emergency.
Residents who live in rural McDonough County often have no way of hearing about emergencies. But that’s soon going to change, as officials work to expand services.
Virginia Friday lives by herself in Adair. She has a weather radio, but often misses out on other situations going on, as the only area that receives emergency alerts in the county is Macomb.
"It would be very helpful to know if we had a water line broken," Friday said. "An Amber alert would be something that’s going on that would be nice to know, too."
The Code Red Alert System is currently operated at the Macomb Fire Station. However, the McDonough County Emergency Services Director, Edgar Rodriguez, wants to expand those services all throughout the county.
"We are trying to get the different cities and communities in McDonough County to join in and basically split the cost of this system," Rodriguez said. "One of the things that we love is to inform our community and having this system in place is an ongoing initiative to keep our community informed."
Rodriguez said the new alert system will offer text messages, landline phone calls and emails. It will automatically alert residents of emergency situations and give them a choice to receive other news and updates in the county.
"That would help a lot," Friday said. "I would know what’s going on at home."
Rodriguez and other officials from all cities in the county are meeting August 30 to discuss splitting the price and choosing a company to use. If all goes as planned, the new alert system will be up and running in the next year and they plan to inform residents through the mail when it’s time to sign up.