An important step in being prepared for disasters is to be sure you stay informed. There are multiple alert systems in the state to ensure you receive disaster warning information as soon as a hazard event occurs. Sign up and you will greatly increase the likelihood that you receive warning information when it is needed most.
Local alert systems include:
Connecticut Alert Emergency Notification System (CT Alert ENS)
In 2009, Connecticut became the first state to implement a statewide emergency notification system. CT Alert ENS allows state and local officials to help protect lives and property by providing critical information to residents during emergencies. CT Alert ENS is managed by the State Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.
The CT Alert ENS uses the state’s Enhanced 911 (E911) database for location-based notifications to the public for life-threatening emergencies. But the E911 database includes only traditional wire-line telephone numbers in the state (the “land line” phone you may have in your home). With CT Alert ENS, residents can add multiple means of communication for redundancy, including email, text messaging, mobile phone messages, and more. The system enables authorities to quickly send out emergency alerts to residents in any affected geographic area within the state. Depending on the emergency, the alert may be sent to an entire town, part of a town, a group of towns, or a large area of the state.
Visit the CT Alert ENS website to sign up for alerts.
NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards
The National Weather Service (NWS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) broadcasts emergency information on seven special frequencies which cannot be received by standard radio receivers. NOAA Weather Radios are special radio receivers designed to pick up and announce broadcasts made from a special radio frequency, even if the radio is turned off. With a NOAA Weather Radio (available at most electronics retailers at prices ranging from $20 to $200), you will receive immediate broadcasts of severe weather warnings and civil emergency messages, thereby giving yourself more critical lead time to respond and remain safe.
Broadcasts of tornado warnings, flood warnings, chemical spill messages, and many other notifications, in addition to routine weather observations and forecasts, make a NOAA Weather Radio an easy way to stay informed whether you are at home, at work, or traveling.
National Weather Radio (NWR) broadcasts NWS warnings, watches, forecasts, and other non-weather related hazard information 24 hours a day. During an emergency, NWS forecasters interrupt routine broadcasts and send a special tone activating local weather radios. Weather radios equipped with a special alarm tone sound an alert to give you immediate information about life-threatening situations.
Look for these features when purchasing a NOAA Weather Radio:
Emergency Alert System (EAS)
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designed the Emergency Alert System (EAS) so officials can quickly send out important emergency information targeted to a specific area. EAS sends out alerts not only to broadcast media, but also to cable television stations, satellites, pagers, direct broadcast satellite (DBS), high definition television, and video dial tone. EAS also accounts for the needs of functional needs populations, such as the deaf and those with special language requirements. To receive EAS alerts, you must be watching or listening to an FCC-regulated broadcast. You can learn to recognize the tones that precede Emergency Alert System messages by paying attention to the many tests that are performed on television and radio.
For more information, visit the FCC's Emergency Alert System page.
Social media outlets are becoming a highly effective way for people to receive timely emergency information. Different media outlets and emergency management offices are communicating directly with citizens through the use of posts on popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. By subscribing to these news feeds, you will receive important emergency warnings and response information on your computer, PDA, or smart phone. Examples of social media outlets that help to increase your disaster awareness include: