The weather events in southern Johnson County on March 15 prompted questions from residents regarding the activation of NotifyJoCo, the county’s emergency notification system.
Dan Robeson, director of Emergency Management, noted that when people create an account with NotifyJoCo they can opt-in to receive a number of weather notifications.
“Luckily, about 70% of the people who create accounts choose to receive the Tornado Warnings. When people create a NotifyJoCo account they can list up to five locations in Johnson County for which they would like to receive emergency notifications. This allows for people to list their home, work, family, school, etc,” Robeson said. “When the NWS issues a Tornado Warning for any location in Johnson County the NotifyJoCo system will automatically send a notification to any contact in the system who has both opted in to receive Tornado Warnings and has one of their five locations within the Tornado Warning polygon.”
Robeson said they sometimes receive questions about why sirens were heard in an area, but individuals didn’t receive a NotifyJoCo notification.
“Many times, this is because our NotifyJoCo system is more precise than the siren system. As our sirens are activated by zone there are many times when the sirens are sounding in areas that are not technically under the Tornado Warning,” he explained.
On the afternoon of March 15, there were two Tornado Warnings issued by the NWS for Johnson County. For each of these warnings the NotifyJoCo system sent out notifications and they were delivered in less than one minute.
“The system has been very reliable, but we look into any issue sent on to us,” Robeson said. “The public can always call the NotifyJoCo line at 913-826-5555 with questions and concerns.”