‘Alert Collier’ ready in time for brush fire season

Year after year, brush fires force families to evacuate in Collier County. With the next brush fire season a few months away, Collier County is making sure residents are alerted right away if there is nearby danger.

Kurt Stephens, who runs Gator’s Crossroad in Naples, said he is still making repairs to his building after the past wildfire season and Hurricane Irma.

“We’re finally catching up,” Stephens said. “Insurance really hasn’t helped us too much, and we just have to buck up on our own.”

Brush fires can spark and threaten homes and businesses.

“The fires were right across the street here,” Stephens said. “And that came really, really close, and they actually did some control burns up and down the road.”

With the next fire season on the horizon, county officials are looking to unveil a new emergency notification service called “Alert Collier.” the system can send specific alerts to certain areas in case of an emergency.

“It would help us tremendously,” Stephens said. “And my customers because I can let them know … this is what’s going on.”

The system can send alerts to cellphones and email addresses with specific information on how to stay safe.

Simon Bailey said he is all for it.

“Absolutely, it could be a lifesaver down here,” Bailey said.

County officials will be giving the new system a test run during the holiday season, but it will also come in handy during the next hurricane season.

People living in Collier will nee to opt-in for the service once it is launched.

The service can also provide mass group calls for emergency crews and allow for them to be in the right place at the right time.

“That’ll be helpful very, very helpful,” bailey said.

 

Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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