Sunday, August 24 2014 12:56 AM EDT2014-08-24 04:56:42 GMT
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KNOX COUNTY (WATE) - Knox County now has a new emergency alert system that officials say will save lives. If you sign up for the system, you can get email, text and phone alerts in case an emergency breaks out.
This includes everything from severe weather and chemical spills- to public safety alerts.
"It's going to alert them to something that's going on in the community that could cause either property damage or body damage," said Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett.
Residents can register their home phone, cell phone and email addresses online. Those without Internet access can call (865) 560-0239 to sign up by phone. The program is free of charge.
Before this system, Burchett says there really wasn't anything in place to quickly alert people when needed.
"It was just a word of mouth thing and that system doesn't work anymore, those days are gone," Burchett said.
"I got to thinking we do not have any kind of alert system, so we originally thought about doing sirens, but found out that the sirens is old technology," said Knox County Commissioner Mike Hammond.
Hammond says he started looking into this system about three years ago after severe weather hit the area.
"The system is now installed and I could not be more thrilled that in Knox County now we have a system that we can alert people not only bad weather, but to emergency situations regardless of what that emergency situation might be," Hammond said.
The county will pay $30,000 a year to Federal Signal for the service, but it's free to all users. Rural Metro will operate the system using E911 Center data.