Alabama City to Examine Why Emergency Alert System Failed

May 8, 2014

Emergency officials are trying to learn why Tuscaloosa’s emergency alert system failed to warn people of a tornado that struck parts of the city and county.

The EF-1 twister struck the Alabama community on Monday night.

The Tuscaloosa News reports that the system failed to make automatic phone calls or send text notifications to the 25,000 numbers or email addresses registered.

The city agreed to a two-year contract with a mass notification company last year. A Federal Emergency Management Agency grant covers 75 percent of the annual $27,737 the company receives for providing the service.

City spokeswoman Deidre Stalnaker said the system should send out automatic alerts whenever a National Weather Service warning is issued. From now on, a city employee will manually issue an alert to ensure that it goes through.

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