Residents are being encouraged by Marshall County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) to participate in the free benefits of Everbridge.

Since the launch of the county’s mass notification service, Everbridge, Marshall County EMA Director Anita McBurnett said the number of users has went down. She explained the service from Everbridge was purchased by the county commission, so it’s free for everyone to use. The EMA has partnered with Everbridge to keep the county’s residents, staff and emergency personnel safe and informed with quick and reliable emergency notifications and public service announcements, she said.

In May, the EMA began using Everbridge Resident Alerts to notify residents and businesses. Initially, she said there were 2,000 to 3,000 county residents that signed up for the service. Currently, there are 29,253 county residents that are receiving alerts through Everbridge. Since it’s summer, she said many have not been as worried about the weather, but she said it’s still important to be prepared in case of emergencies.

Through Everbridge, she said the EMA sends notifications about a variety of events ranging from severe weather, road closures, winter weather, to more routine announcements, such as water utility maintenance. She said messages would be sent to residents on their preferred contact paths – cell phone, text, home phone or email – to ensure real-time access to potentially lifesaving information. Residents listed in the county’s White Pages and Yellow Pages database will be automictically subscribed to alerts by phone, but Everbridge allows citizens to self-register, provide additional information or opt out of the service, she said.

If not already signed up, McBurnett said it’s important for residents to register immediately to receive these alerts. If residents wait for an issue to occur, she said then it will be too late.

To register for Everbridge alerts online, visit marshallcoema.org. She said once on the site, click on the “Alert Marshall County” logo to begin the registration.

“The Everbridge emergency notification system allows the Marshall County EMA to disseminate this information across all types of devises, ensuring residents have access to real-time public information when they need it the most,” McBurnett said.

In some cases, she said one could receive a combination of texts, phone calls (via cell phone or landline), voicemails, mobile app notifications and emails. Each message will have an introduction, main content, and a confirmation component, she said.

The choice of where to receive the message is up to the individual. Each person can pick the order or “pathways” they want to receive the messages, through the “public registration portal” (find at marshallcoema.org) when registering online.

For “tech-savvy users,” these are the “pathways” the EMA recommends:

Everbridge Mobile App

Text (SMS)

Email

Telephone/Voice (Cell/Landline)

For “non-technical users,” these are the “pathways” the EMA recommends:

Telephone (Cell/Landline)

Text (SMS)

Email

Everbridge Mobile App

As a further step to help with confusion, McBurnett said to review the below information on how to respond to a confirmation receipt, which is the message which one would receive from the Everbridge “Alert Marshall County” mass notification system.

Email:

• The email will be sent from: “Everbridge.”

• Read the entire message.

• Then click the provided link within the email to confirm receipt of the message.

• If you do not respond within 3 minutes, the system will roll to your next selected pathway.

Telephone/voice:

• You will receive a phone call from: 256-960-3705.

• The system will identify as “ALERT MARSHALL COUNTY” followed by the information pertaining to the alert message.

• To confirm receipt of the message, Press “1.”

• If you do not respond within three minutes, the system will roll to your next selected pathway.

Voicemail:

• A voicemail will be left on your phone, only if you have your phone programmed or set up to take messages. However, just having your phone set up to take messages is not the same as “Confirming” a receipt of the message. The only way to “Confirm” receipt of the message, is to go check your text, emails, mobile app, or call the audio board back at 256-960-3705.

• If you do not respond within three minutes, the system will roll to your next selected pathway.

Text (SMS):

• You can receive a text message on any device that has a cell phone number attached to the device and is capable to receive text messages.

• Read the entire message then reply like any other text message.

• Reply with “YES” and send to confirm receipt of the message.

• If you do not respond within three minutes, the system will roll to your next selected pathway.

Everbridge Mobile App:

• You will receive a push notification on any mobile device that you have the Everbridge Notification App downloaded on.

• Open the message to discover what type of feedback you need to provide.

• Respond by using the method indicated in the message you receive. (i.e., using polling, geolocation information, pictures, and/or free form text). This will confirm receipt of the message.

• If you do not respond within three minutes, the system will roll to your next selected pathway.

To register by mail, find the registration form at marshallcoema.org. Print and complete the form, and then mail it to: Marshall County EMA, 3550 Creek Path Rd., Guntersville, Alabama 35976.

To register online:

Visit marshallcoema.org, click on “Sign Up” button to add your information.

You will be asked to create an account:

• Crate a Username and Password

• Usernames must be a minimum of 4 acceptable characters. Acceptable characters are: uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, period, dash (-), underscore (_), and at symbol (@). No other characters or symbols are permitted at this time.

• Note: If the system does not accept your Username it will show up in red. This means someone else has used that username and you must select another one.

• Password must be 8 to 64 characters long and contain at least one letter and one number. Special characters are permitted, but limited to !@#$%^&*(). Select a security question and enter its answer.

• Enter a Registration Email Address. This address is used to send temporary passwords, if you forget your credentials.

• Accept the Terms of Use by checking the box

• Click “Create Your Account”

To complete your profile:

After creating your user name and password, you’ll be brought to a page where you can complete your profile. This is where you enter your personal information, including first name, last name and registration email. Next, you will select how you want to receive alerts. Options may include SMS text message, email, mobile phone, landline or a mobile application for Android and iOS devices. You can set the order of the contact paths. This will be the order we will try and reach you in the event of an emergency. You can register as a resident or business. Use your company name for first and last name if registering a business. Enter any locations you care about. Everbridge sends alerts based on a geographical location on a map. Insert up to five addresses for which you want to receive an alert if the location is affected by an incident or upcoming event.

Important note: If the address provided is not in the EMA’s database of known addresses for its jurisdiction, you will be presented with other options to add your address into the system, which includes, selecting from a list of suggested addresses or dropping a pin to select your location on the map (Microsoft Silverlight plug-in is required). You will not receive any location-based alerts if you do not provide a complete address.

When signing up for the account, there are various alert subscriptions to sign up for like important community alerts, transportation alerts and weather notifications. McBurnett said to “sign up for alerts you care about.”

Finish and save the account, then you’ve successfully signed up.

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