Pasco County has launched a new system called Alert Pasco, which allows residents to be notified of emergencies, such as wildfires and hurricanes.
Residents can sign up for the alerts by using the county’s mobile application, MyPasco.
Pasco County officials introduced this new “mass notification tool” at a press conference in New Port Richey on May 31, one day before the start of hurricane season.
“This allows us to put out information in real-time,” said Kevin Guthrie, the county’s director of emergency services.
It is a huge benefit in notifying residents about what is happening and what they need to do, he said.
Alert Pasco can send alerts through phone calls, texts and/or email.
In addition to severe weather alerts, the system can send notifications on flooding, gas leaks and police activity.
Pasco County began testing the service about two months ago.
“This is going to be a regional element that starts moving through all the counties in the (Tampa Bay) region,” said Guthrie.
The hurricane season officially started on June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting a busier than usual season with the number of named storms ranging from 11 to 17, including April’s Tropical Storm Arlene.
Five to nine of those storms could become hurricanes; two to four of those could be major hurricanes.
The MyPasco app is designed for Android, Apple and Blackberry mobile devices, and can be downloaded for free from Google Play Store or Apple Store.
The Alert Pasco link can be found on the MyPasco homepage. The county’s website also has information on hurricane evacuation zones, the Pasco County Special Needs Program, and a guide to “plan, prepare, and survive” potential disasters.
For information, also visit PascoEmergencyManagement.com.
Published June 6, 2017