Wet weather boosts registrations for emergency alerts

Date: Wednesday, 27th January 2010

A combination of cyclone warnings and wet weather has boosted the number of registrations for Townsville City Council's free emergency alert system.

More than 9,200 people have now signed up for the system which sends out weather warnings from the Early Warning Network, as well as emergency alerts from the Local Disaster Management Group to residents in the direct path of severe weather.

Mayor Cr Les Tyrell said around 1,000 residents signed up after Sunday when a weather warning was sent out to people who had already registered.

"The system operated exactly as it was meant to, and I'm pleased to say we've had very positive feedback from residents about the service and its value," Cr Tyrell said.

"In the case of the message sent out on the weekend, that was from the Early Warning Network itself. The message was sent out at no cost to residents or the council.

"The Early Warning Network taps into information from the Bureau of Meteorology, and part of its service is to pass on relevant weather warnings to residents.

"Keeping residents informed this way certainly gives everyone more time to prepare. And there's no doubt that in the case of a severe weather event, having that additional time and information will prove to be invaluable."

The severe weather warning message sent out on the weekend warned of rainfall and damaging wind gusts of up to 100km per hour in the Townsville to Sarina areas for Sunday afternoon and into Monday.

Townsville City Council was the first local government area in Australia to sign up to the Early Warning Network.

Residents can opt into the free service through council's website at www.townsville.qld.gov.au or by calling the Customer Service Centre on 4727 9000.

The three main options for receiving emergency alerts are mobile phones (SMS), recorded messages on landline phones, or email.

EWN - The Early Warning Network

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