New Emergency Alert System Tested

Wednesday morning, a thunderous Voice From Above struck terror into hearts all over downtown Trenton, then immediately allayed fears with the comforting words, "This is only a test." Dade County's brand-new emergency-alert system is up and running.

Alex Case, Dade's emergency servies director and incidentally Trenton's mayor, was as usual too busy with those important jobs to talk to the local press, but said through an employee that the system would be publicly unveiled in some media announcement at some unnamed date in the unspecified future.

But Dade Commission Executive Chairman Ted Rumley confirmed, "We just got the pole up yesterday."

Rumley referred to the altitudinous tower--The Planet will furnish its height to the public when Alex Case furnishes it to The Planet at some unnamed date in the unspecified future--now looming above local government buildings from the back parking lot of the county jail, from whence issued the Voice From Above.

The tower has a broadcast area of about four miles and was paid for through a $48,305 grant from GEMA (the Georgia Emergency Management Agency) with a 15 percent matching cost of $7245 to the county. Its purpose is to alert the citizenry of emergencies such as tornadoes or flooding.

Commissioner Rumley said the alarm was to be controlled not just by the county's emergency services office but by the National Weather Service from its offices in Huntsville, Ala., and Peachtree City, Ga., which would be able to broadcast alerts with a lead time of perhaps 15 minutes should a damaging weather event be headed Trenton-ward.

"It doesn't depend just on our bodies here in this office," said Rumley.

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