What is Alert and Notification?
In Madison County we have multiple ways of notifying the public in the event of a natural disaster or chemical related event. Madison County has four (4) methods of alerting the public:
- Comprehensive outdoor siren system
- Zone specific Adviser Alert Radios (AARs)
- Everbridge Reverse 911
- Emergency Alert System
These systems allow EMA to notify the public in a matter of minutes when a weather or chemical event occurs. The systems will provide information that directs the public of what to do during an event.
Adviser Alert Radios (AARs)
Beginning in the spring of 2011, Adviser Alert Radios (AARs) were sent out to eligible addresses within Madison County by the Madison County EMA/CSEPP Program. These radios replaced the original Tone Alert Radios (TARs) distributed in Madison County in the mid-1990s. The AARs have a longer battery life, text display, AM/FM radio capabilities, and additional user-friendly features. This upgrade also extended the coverage area within the county. Previously, TARs were distributed to a 6.2 mile radius from the chemical limited area at the Blue Grass Army Depot. Now, AARs are distributed to a 9.2 mile radius as well as to residents within the city limits of Berea. Madison County EMA/CSEPP recommends residents outside this area purchase a weather radio at a local retailer. All “special population facilities” received an AAR, no matter what their location in the county. Special population facilities include schools, daycares, long-term care facilities and hospitals.
Old TARs are no longer operational, so there is no need to keep an old TAR, but they do not belong in the garbage – they will be properly recycled by Madison County EMA/CSEPP. If you still possess one of the old TARs, you may drop it at one of the following locations:
- 558 South Keeneland DR Richmond, KY
Remember: The AAR is designed to stay with the address of the home, business, or apartment to which they are assigned. Even if you move, the AAR stays. Only ONE AAR will be assigned to a residential address.
All AAR units are the property of Madison County EMA/CSEPP and have assigned serial numbers.
It is illegal to sell an Adviser Alert Radio.
Outdoor Siren Notifications
Sirens are designed as an outdoor warning system. They alert people who are outside that an emergency has occurred or is imminent. The purpose is to move persons into a shelter, and have them tune to Emergency Alert System (EAS) radio stations for more information.
- WEKY 1340 AM
- WEKU 88.9 FM
- WCBR 1110 AM
- WLFX 106.7 FM
- WCYO 100.7 FM
- WIRV 1550 AM
- Time Warner Cable
Ninety (90) sirens are located throughout Madison County. The sirens are strategically placed in more heavily populated areas of the county, including Richmond, the Eastern Kentucky University campus, Berea, Fort Boonesborough, White Hall, Kingston, Union City, and Kirksville.
The siren system has three (3) different wails or tones. Different tones are used for different types of emergencies. Each tone lasts for forty-five (45) seconds, and is followed by a fifteen (15) second voice message.
The steady wail is the severe weather tone. It is a continuous forty-five (45) second screech that sounds like a conventional siren. A voice message will either state that the National Weather Service has issued a severe weather warning, instructing listeners to tune to local radio and television stations, or it will state the type of warning (thunderstorm or tornado) and instruct listeners to seek shelter immediately.
The alternate steady wail is the chemical incident tone. It is a series of two high-pitched beeping sounds. The beep last for forty-five (45) seconds, and are followed by a message that tells residents an incident has occurred, and to listen to local EAS radio stations.
Westminster Chimes is the testing wail. Tests are conducted on the first Saturday and the third Wednesday of every month at 12:20 in the afternoon.
Everbridge Mass Notification System
Madison County uses the Everbridge system for our Emergency Alert Program. This program allows you to receive a phone call, text message, and/or email in the event of an emergency or a special situation that affects the county.