A recent, local radio program gave listeners information about a local emergency alert system. The free service provides residents information that could be helpful in the event of weather, health, public safety, and other emergencies.
Our local paper reported in May that only about 1500 residents had signed up for the service. This is a disappointing number given the fact that the service is free and can save lives and reduce stress caused by ignorance.
There’s no end to the alerts that technology now offers us. Google Alerts allows users to subscribe to several kinds of alerts. If I lived in Tornado Alley I’d want to have Google send me weather alerts. I’d definitely want to avoid those mile-wide twisters that sometimes take shortcuts through the prairie.
Costco recently issued a recall alert. Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend of frozen berries has been implicated in an outbreak of hepatitis, and Costco wants all its customers to be aware of the danger. Costco is even offering free hepatitis vaccines to people who may have eaten the berries.
If I were a family whose child just went missing, I’d immediately contact the folks at Amber Alert.
There are also alerts for other things as well. A smart phone app called Seat Alerts will alert users of the status of occupied and blocked seats on upcoming flights – presumably so that the user can get the optimum, available seat.
A web article warned of a spoiler alert for The Game of Thrones. Hardly as important as an Amber alert but important at some level to Game of Thrones watchers.
The apostle Paul once stopped at the ancient city of Miletus (in what is now Turkey) to warn church leaders from Ephesus that they were in the cross hairs of false teachers – who Paul called “wolves.” Like tornadoes and kidnappers and hepatitis outbreaks, Paul knew it was important for these leaders to be aware and alert to the dangers.
If the Ephesian elders had ignored Paul it would have been, in effect, like those Merced County residents who have decided not to sign up for the County alerts. Or Costco customers who don’t get the vaccine.
Alerts are only good if captured and taken seriously.