Nov 042008
 
Authors: Brian Anthony

Much like the emergency text alert system set in place by the CSU Emergency Management Team earlier this year, Larimer County has created a program that would notify residents of emergencies, following in the footsteps of their campus counterparts.

The Larimer Emergency Telephone Authority spearheaded the venture, allowing residents who register with the county to receive alerts through text messages, along with the traditional notification method of calling landlines.

LETA Executive Director Kimberly Culp said the system was put in place partly because “the public expects it.”

“If there is danger, you expect to be notified,” she said.

The county felt an urgent need for a new system since the old system only contacted people using their home phone numbers.

“A lot of people don’t have a traditional phone line and thus a new system was needed so that those people can still receive an alert,” Culp said and assured, “anyone with a traditional hard line will get a notification.”

Culp said residents should sign up for as many devices as they can, including text and e-mail, and recommended registering with the CSU Rave Alert system. Although the two systems are similar, Rave mostly deals with on-campus situations, whereas the LETA program will warn people of a gas leaks, fires, tornado or places that law enforcement wants people to stay away from throughout the county.

“We would only alert the area that is in potential or imminent danger,” Culp said.

One of the interesting parts of the new program is that people can register more than one location. So they can be notified at work, at home or at wherever they travel. But neither Rave nor LETA keep track of people’s location, so registered users will be notified no matter where they are, unless they make arrangements with the system operators.

Sign up for both Rave and the LETA program is free, but text message fees still apply. To sign up go visit LETA’s Web site, www.leta911.org.

Staff writer Brian Anthony can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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