Alert calls would be invaluable

Published 12:30 pm Wednesday, February 19, 2014

As many Lawrence County residents have discovered this winter, early notification is key when water issues arise.

People want to know as quickly as possible why water isn’t flowing from their taps.

Or, in the case of many West Virginians earlier this year, that their drinking water is contaminated.

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That’s the idea behind a countywide all-call system that the Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency hopes to implement.

Earlier this month, Mike Boster, EMA director, received a 50 percent grant to cover the cost of the more than $17,000 system that would alert residents by phone, social media or pager if disaster strikes.

Currently, there is no way for the EMA to uniformly notify or warn county residents of a disaster or other events en masse.

The county commissioners have signed on to support the effort, as well as the Lawrence Emergency Planning Committee and the City of Ironton.

The EMA is still seeking other partners to commit funds to get the project off the ground.

This alert system has the potential be an invaluable resource for not only the EMA, but for local law enforcement and other government agencies as well.

Since everyone in the county would benefit from this service, it is only fair that as many townships, villages and agencies as possible help support this effort.

Keeping the public quickly informed could be the difference between life and death.