The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

March 6, 2012

Signup delays reported with new alert system


The News Courier

From staff reports

A new Huntsville-based severe weather alert system went online this week, but some who tried to sign up for SAF-T-Net reportedly experienced delays.

WAFF-48 in Huntsville reported this week that more than 12,000 people signed up for SAF-T-Net since its Wednesday launch. Representatives with Baron Services said so many people tried to sign up for the free service that it slowed the system.

Those who were unable to sign up were reportedly asked to come back and try again if they experienced a delay.

SAF-T-Net is described as a new, site-specific weather alerting system that will use email, text messaging and phone calls to warn people of approaching severe weather. Gov. Robert Bentley visited Huntsville on Wednesday to help launch the new service.

Alabama SAF-T-Net is in line with recommendations from the Tornado Recovery Action Council, which was commissioned by the governor following the April 27, 2011, tornado outbreak. TRAC recommended “a statewide, integrated severe weather alert system that provides more precise alerts for individuals and businesses than current countywide warnings.”

The recommendation encouraged a system that would allow people to enroll their phone numbers and make use of smart phone technologies to receive warnings. The system allows people to register up to four locations for which they would like to receive warnings via email, text, or a phone call.

People interested in signing up for SAF-T-Net can visit http://www.alabamasaftnet.com.