— From staff reports
Gov. Robert Bentley on Wednesday joined with weather experts and other leaders at the launch of Alabama SAF-T-Net, a new, site-specific weather alerting system that will use email, text messaging and phone calls to warn people of approaching severe weather.
The system will be offered to residents throughout the state at no cost. The system was developed by Baron Services Inc., a Huntsville-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,” 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. The day’s focus was tornado safety.
Bob Baron, president and CEO of Baron Services, Inc., said he’s happy his company can offer the SAF-T-Net technology at no cost. He said he hoped Alabamians used the tool as an added component of their severe weather plans.
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.
“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.”
People interested in signing up for SAF-T-Net can visit http://www.alabamasaftnet.com.