Bentley part of statewide weather alert system launch
Governor Robert Bentley joined with weather experts and other leaders Wednesday at the launch of Alabama SAF-T-Net, a new, site-specific weather alerting system that will use e-mail, text messaging, and phone calls to warn people of approaching severe weather.
Alabama SAF-T-Net is offered to residents throughout the state at no cost. The system was developed by Baron Services, Inc., an Alabama-based weather technology company that works closely with the National Weather Service and other agencies to distribute warning information.
“This is a valuable public service that can help save lives by reaching people in a precise and timely manner,” Governor Bentley said. “By allowing people to receive customized weather warnings for a specific area, we can do an even better job of helping the right people receive the right warnings at the right time.”
The unveiling of SAF-T-Net coincided with the third day of Severe Weather Awareness Week in Alabama. The day’s focus was tornado safety. The National Weather Service reminded people that March through May are known as Alabama’s Spring Severe Weather Season, and all people are encouraged to have comprehensive severe weather plans.
Alabama SAF-T-Net is in line with recommendations from the Tornado Recovery Action Council. TRAC was commissioned by Governor Bentley following the devastating April 27, 2011, tornado outbreak. Among the TRAC recommendations was a suggestion for “a statewide, integrated severe weather alert system that provides more precise alerts for individuals and businesses than current county-wide warnings.”
The TRAC recommendation encouraged a system that would allow people to enroll their phone numbers and make use of smart phone technologies to receive warnings. Alabama SAF-T-Net allows people to register up to four locations for which they would like to receive warnings via e-mail, text, or a phone call.
“I believe the statewide SAF-T-Net program will complement the existing great work performed by the National Weather Service, our emergency management agencies, and local broadcast meteorologists,” said Ron Gray, executive director of the Tornado Recovery Action Council. “With this program added to our existing system of distributing warnings, the end result will be saving more lives in Alabama.”
“We at Baron Services are proud to serve the residents of Alabama and are happy that our technology is capable of responding to the recommendations of the Tornado Recovery Action Council,” said Bob Baron, president and CEO of Baron Services, Inc. “We are especially pleased to be able to offer this service at no cost, and we hope people will use this tool as an added component of their severe weather safety plans.”
People interested in signing up for SAF-T-Net can visit www.alabamasaftnet.com.
Governor Bentley also mentioned a potential sales tax holiday on certain items related to severe-weather preparedness at today’s press conference. Efforts are continuing to put such recommendations in place.