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Emergency alerts available for Oakland County residents



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August 06, 2014 - By Katie Winkler

Review Staff Writer

In times of major crisis, Oakland County residents will now be aware of surrounding disasters, allowing them time to better plan for their safety.

The Oakland County Homeland Security office has launched OakAlerts on July 17. It allows residents to go their website, oakgov.homelandsecurity, and sign up for text and email notifications.

According to the Oakland's Homeland Security, OakAlerts will only be used in emergency situations including imminent or perceived threats to life or property, disaster notifications, evacuation notices, public health emergencies and public safety emergencies.

"These alerts are giving them the timely info of what is going on around them, so they are aware on what is going on in Oakland County," Sarah Stoddard, spokesperson for Oakland's Homeland Security said. Stoddard explained that these emergencies may include, but are not limited to chemical spills, outdoor warning sirens, shelter notices and large road closure of main highways.

"We hope that once they receive messages they will get additional info, whether that is through [OakAlert] message or local media and news stations, and take action that has been recommended," Stoddard said.

Oakland's Homeland security division encourages residents to have a plan of action for various situations once an alert is issued. Whether that is a place of shelter during a storm or an alternative route of travel during road closures, residents should be prepared.

"We always encourage people to plan and make a kit and talk about what family members will do during occurrences and have all of those things in place when alerts occur," Stoddard said. "When you get them, shouldn't be a time to plan."

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