UP: It’s almost always better to have more information about things in life than to be left in the dark. Such is Findlay’s emergency alert system, which is now being expanded to Hancock County residents as well. (See Courier story, Page A1, July 13). That’s an overdue move, but a good one. There’s no good reason why emergency alerts should stop at the city limits. Through the system, those who have opted in receive weather-related alerts during floods, tornado watches and warnings, and more. The prerecorded messages can also be activated for missing children countywide or, more narrowly, in a specific neighborhood where a dangerous suspect may be hiding. All county residents now have access to a system that has been used in the Findlay area since 2012, and the two governments will share the annual $30,000 cost to operate it. Dispatched through the Findlay Police Department and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, the automated system has the capability to send alerts via email, voice call, and/or text message to all users, or just those users within a specific region where a fire or serious car accident may have closed a road. In an extreme emergency, the system is capable of notifying even nonregistered cellphone users through an agreement with the Hancock County Emergency Management Agency. Surprisingly, despite a population of more than 41,000 people, only 1,800 are signed up for the alerts in Findlay. The free service is too valuable not to take advantage of wherever you reside in Hancock County. We encourage all to keep informed by registering at www.findlayohio.com

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