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      Texting and e-mails will now be part of emergency alert system

      If you live, work or travel through Adams County Illinois on a regular basis you can now receive text and e-mail emergency alerts.

      If you live, work or travel through Adams County Illinois on a regular basis you can now receive text and e-mail emergency alerts. text and e-mail emergency alerts

      The Adams County Emergency Management Agency says it's all part of keeping the public safe.

      John Simon is the director of the Adams County Emergency Management Agency. He said he knows there are thousands of people who carry a smart phone with them almost all the time. Now the county now has the capability of notifying those people about evacuations, disasters, missing person's and even health related incidents.

      "And we're starting to see a reduction in the number of land lines that are out there. So this gives us a cost efficient tool to be able to reach the public," Simon said.

      It's called Nixel and with just a few key strokes at your computer or by texting Adams County to 888777, you can get on the notification list. It's a cooperative effort between three county agencies who are responsible for keeping the public safe.

      "That's correct, Nixle gives us the opportunity to get out a message almost instantaneously about any sort of public health emergency whether it's a disease outbreak or if we need to give a special vaccinations or distribute medications out to the public in a quick fashion," Shay Drummond who is with the Adams County Health Department said.

      Simon said the cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses that are registered with the service remain private. He also said he doesn't even know who signs up for the notifications. The service is county wide, meaning it's not pinpointed to a certain zip code or geographic area. Allowing more users to be aware of what might be happening in the county.

      Simon emphasized that this service will not take the place of severe weather watches and warnings.

      He said you still need a weather radio to keep informed of severe weather.