This article is 2 years old. It was published on December 17, 2018.
Effective today, the free notification tool used by the City of St. Louis is going to limit the type of alerts that will be sent to subscribers. If you receive text alerts from the City Emergency Management Agency you will see a significant drop in the number of messages you receive.
After December 17th you will only see ALERT level messages. ALERT level messages include Severe Weather Watches and Warnings. The change that will affect most of our users is that ADVISORY level messages will only be sent to email subscribers.
If you usually receive a text message each month telling you that CEMA is testing the outdoor warning siren system, you will no longer receive that message via text. You will only receive that message if you have subscribed to receive notifications via email.
CEMA has asked the service provider if such messages will still be pushed to linked Facebook and Twitter accounts, but have not yet received a reply. An update will be provided when it becomes available.
As some of you may be aware, recently the Economic Development Tax Board voted in favor of allowing the Department of Public Safety to use Prop 1 funds to purchase an expanded mass notification tool to replace the one currently being used in the city.
This solution should provide much more flexibility in the methods used to reach residents and visitors to the city. This process will take several months to finalize but CEMA is committed to implementing this replacement as soon as possible.
As a first line of defense for emergency situations, CEMA encourages everyone to have an NOAA Weather Radio in their home. These radios are designed to signal an alert day or night to warn of potential danger in the area and prompt residents to take action. Many of these radios can be programmed (very easily) with an S.A.M.E. code specific to the City of St. Louis.
Using this code allows you to receive alerts for the City of St. Louis only, or you can add additional codes for additional municipalities if you like. NOAA Weather Radios can be purchased at several local stores and also online. If you already have a weather radio in your home, we remind you to change the batteries at each time change, as you do with your clocks and smoke detectors.
In addition to weather radios, CEMA will continue to utilize local media and social media to share important information with you that may fall into the category of ADVISORY level alerts.