The city of Ames announced Wednesday that Story County residents must now register to receive emergency alerts.
In a press release, the city of Ames announced Story County has replaced its Story County Iowa Alert system with Alert Iowa, a new emergency notification system with enhanced features.
"With this switch, residents will have access to new functions and can create one user account for an entire family that includes multiple addresses and phone numbers," according to the press release. "Participants may also opt in to receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service."
To access these features, Story County residents must register for a new account.
“It’s very important that everyone register for the new system,” said Rich Higgins, Ames fire chief, in the press release. “Even if you had registered for alert notifications in the past, it’s likely that data didn’t transfer completely with the change. To ensure you are still in the system and will be notified during an emergency, you must register.”
To sign up, Story County residents have three options:
- Online at http://www.storycountyiowa.gov/alerts
- Download the Smart911 App to a cell phone or wireless-enabled device.
- Opt in via text messages. The service is a free with no cost to residents, although standard data and messaging rates may apply from their carrier.
To opt in via text message, individuals can text the name of the community for which they want alerts with the letters IA after it to 672-83.
For example, for emergency messages for Ames, text "AmesIA."
According to the press release, once a Story County resident has opted in via text message, they will get a reply with a link to complete their account profile to subscribe to additional notifications from Alert Iowa.
For more information on the Alert Iowa program and to find other counties that are participating, visit the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management website at https://homelandsecurity.iowa.gov/programs/alert-iowa/.