New high-tech way to keep your family safe

John Kiehl, Panhandle Regional Planning Commission
John Kiehl, Panhandle Regional Planning Commission

Kristen Guilfoos
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - When disaster strikes, counties across the Texas Panhandle will now be better prepared.

If a wildfire were to spark since we're under a red flag warning or a tornado were to form out of nowhere... There will soon be a brand new way for you to know about it.

We've all heard the saying... If you don't like the weather here in the Panhandle, wait five minutes, it'll change. But sometimes that change isn't necessarily for the better.

Panhandle Regional Planning Commission's John Kiehl says, "Some of our most serious and dangerous risks come from mother nature herself."

Things like tornados, flash floods, winter storms and wildfires. To make sure you know about those emergencies and how they could threaten your family's safety, the PRPC is rolling out a new mass notification system.

Kiehl says, "Provide jurisdictions with the capability to reach out and touch their citizenry at large of emergencies that the public needs to be aware of."

The mass notification system is set to be up and running in just about a year and a half. Whenever that happens, you'll be able to get alerts several different ways. You can get a phone call. You can get an email. And you can even sign up to get a text message.

The system is part of a new FEMA-approved hazard mitigation program... Which means federal money is being funneled in to pay for the changes. Since 2006, when the first plan was put in place, millions have been put towards installing family shelters in local backyards. We have put in about 1415 shelters the first go round.

There's expected to be enough money coming in this year to construct 300 more personal shelters. If you'd like to get in on that, you can find more information at