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DEMA reminds Delawareans to sign up for IPAWS and DENS

Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) wants to make sure First State residents stay alert and safe in the event of severe weather.

Last week, there was a national test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).


That’s the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) system for local alerts providing emergency information about impending natural and human-made disasters, emergencies and other public safety information.


“So there’s a variety of different pieces to it. You’d be familiar with the Emergency Alert System (EAS), which is the kind of test you hear on a weekly or monthly basis on radio and on television, wireless emergency alerts, which can be pushed to your cell phone, the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Weather Radio System - so if folks are familiar with that," said Jeff Sands, community relations coordinator for DEMA, "And then there’s other systems potentially down the road that could be included with this.”


Sands says Delaware's system - the Delaware Emergency Notification System - allows local and state officials to send text and voice messages, emails and social media posts. It can also activate the Emergency Alert System, and send Wireless Emergency Alerts. 


Sands notes that this is especially helpful to make people aware of summer thunderstorms and tornado warnings - as well as being available for use during hurricane season.


There are two options to receive alerts.


This first is to sign up for DENS, which ensures people receive emergency alerts immediately if there is an incident requiring you to take action.


The other is to sign up for SMART911. Smart911 provides important information to 911 call takers and dispatchers to help Police, Fire, and EMS locate and help you in an emergency. Signing up for Smart911 also provides a person's phone numbers for DENS alerts.


People can also make sure they have Wireless Emergency Alerts enabled on their phone.


Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.