Area officials urge residents to sign up for emergency alert system

This urgency comes after the area’s recent wind storm

Area officials urge residents to sign up for emergency alert system
Area officials urge residents to sign up for emergency alert system (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Panhandle Regional Planning Commission is reminding the public to join an alert system to better prepare for any future emergencies in their area.

The Panhandle Area Regional Information System gives emergency or major disaster alerts via text, email, voice recording or by notifications, similar to Amber Alerts.

Area officials urge residents to sign up for emergency alert system

“It’s critical,” said City of Borger Emergency Management Planner Jason Whisler. “We have to keep the public informed and the public has to be informed to make good decisions on what they need to do.”

Also known as PARIS, the system covers the 400,000 Texas Panhandle residents in all 26 counties. However, the Panhandle Regional Planning Commission said only 25,000 people are signed up.

“The goal is to get everybody to sign up,” said Panhandle Regional Planning Commission Emergency Management Planner Emily Nolte. “That’s what we’re striving for.”

Users are only notified of emergencies going on in their specific county or area.

“The beauty about PARIS is it is owned by that county,” said Nolte. “When you sign up for a specific county, you are now embedded in that county so you’ll get information only from them. You’re not reliant on some state or national; you’re getting what’s going on locally.”

City of Borger officials said they rely on the system for wildfire dangers and even smaller alerts that only target certain neighborhoods.

“We can tighten the reigns on this and actually select specific blocks in specific communities that are in the affected area,” said Whisler.

For example, residents can be notified of a water main break in their area.

“We can send just a text notification just to the people who have registered just in that area or we can go as wide as to send out an Amber Alert type alert to anybody that’s within Hutchinson County,” said Whisler.

You can learn more about PARIS and sign up for the system, here.

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