With the Florida Keys being one of the hardest-hit areas during last year's hurricane season, Monroe County Emergency Management is now armed with a new alert system and website.
New Alert! Monroe will send updates via text, call or email. Users sign up through the emergency management's new website, which focuses on preparedness, evacuation and recovery.
County Administrator Roman Gastesi said these tools will give people accurate information and help evacuations run smoothly. But he also said people must stay updated via weather updates and have a personal plan.
“Hurricane evacuation and hurricane information don’t happen overnight - this is something that kind of builds up over days,” he said. “It’s not like a tornado or an earthquake that just happens all of a sudden. So folks are following these hurricanes, following those weather events, and we just need to make sure they’re acting accordingly.”
Gastesi said the county's new tools would have helped prevent the spread of misinformation during Irma.
“As far as rumor control and what’s going on, it’s important to know what’s out there and have the information sourced from us,” he said. “We’re the ones that are responsible to get the information out.”