Sign up for emergency information from county

An emergency notification system that calls or emails information about fires, floods, dangerous fugitives or other threats is now working in Jackson County.

Officials encourage people to sign up at www.JacksonCounty.org/alert.

Jackson County Emergency Manager Mike Curry said people should take a minute to sign up so they can be reached quickly in case of an emergency in their neighborhood.

Landline telephones included in the 9-1-1 database are registered automatically, but people can provide information so messages can be sent to mobile phones, work phones, email, or text message, officials said.

"We can't alert you if we can't reach you," Jackson County Technology Director Mark Decker said in a prepared statement announcing the new system.

He explained that people can register multiple contact paths such as mobile phones, work phones, or email, which will be notified in the order you specify until you confirm that you have received the message. The system can contact tens of thousands of people per hour, officials said.

People also can choose to be notified about events affecting locations across the county besides their home, such as their place of business, children's school, or parents' home. Officials can also use the system to alert residents in non-emergency situations such as major road closures, and people can designate how they get these non-emergency messages.

The program is open to all Jackson County residents and there is no cost to register. The cities Medford and Ashland have partnered with the county in the system and can send out separate messages to their residents.

The county signed a five-year contract in March with Everbridge Inc., the company that provides the software to run the system. It will cost $42,685 to install and $38,600 each of the following years. A federal grant will pay for the first two years. During each of the final three years of the contract, Ashland will pay $4,150 and Medford will pay $14,400, annual costs that are based on population.

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