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County Wireless Emergency Notification System up and running
Effingham County Fire Chief Clint Hodges
Effingham County Fire Chief Clint Hodges

Special to the Herald

SPRINGFIELD – The Effingham County Emergency Management Agency (EEMA) is an attention-getter. It can do so in broad fashion or with pinpoint accuracy thanks to a new tool.

During a meeting with county government employees June 13, EEMA Director Clint Hodges announced that the Wireless Emergency Notification System (WENS) is operational following a couple years of preparation.

WENS is a mass notification system used to quickly alert people to potential threats or emergency situations and direct them how to respond. Messages can be received via text, voice or email.

The system is currently set up for an assortment of weather warnings and fire alerts.

“The main thing is that we are trying to make sure that we have a way to get essential information out as fast as possible to as many people as possible,” Hodges said.

Hodges said other agencies in the county are welcome to use the system, which can target specific neighborhoods or the entire county, to announce traffic concerns, chemical spills, dangerous criminals on the loose, escaped prisoners and more.

Sign up for WENS at:

Before the WENS announcement, Hodges went over hurricane preparation plans with representatives of each county department, officials from Guyton, Rincon and Springfield, and the United Way of the Coastal Empire-Effingham County. This is done annually.

“For this season, we are looking at upward of 12 to 17 named storms,” Hodges said. “Five to nine will be hurricanes and one to four will be major hurricanes.

“With that being said – like we always tell everybody – how busy a season isn’t really what’s important because it really only takes that one to hit you hard.”