Get alerted about emergencies and other important community news by signing up for Yellowstone County Informed. This system enables us to provide you with critical information quickly in a variety of situations, such as severe weather, unexpected road closures, missing persons, and evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods.
You will receive time-sensitive messages wherever you specify, such as your home, mobile or business phones, email address, text messages and more.
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There are multiple parts to the Alerting and Warning System :
YCI - is a web-based critical communication solution that enables local public safety personnel to notify residents and businesses by telephone, text message, email, and social media of time-sensitive information, emergencies, or urgent notifications. The system can reach hundreds of thousands of individuals in minutes to ensure information such as evacuation notices, missing persons, inclement weather advisories, and more are quickly shared. Only authorized officials have access to send alerts.
IPAWS - Local police and fire departments, emergency managers, the National Weather Service (NWS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and private industry are working together to make sure you can receive alerts and warnings quickly through several different technologies no matter where you are - at home, at school, at work, or even on vacation. The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) uses different pathways to simultaneously send alerts through many different channels:
- Televisions and radios receive alerts through the Emergency Alert System (EAS).
- Cell phones receive Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).
- Internet applications can receive alerts through the All-Hazards Information Feed.
- Road signs, sirens, and other local systems can be made IPAWS-compliant.
To send an alert through IPAWS, a public safety official must complete FEMA-sponsored training and coordinate alerting permissions with their state government. The National Weather Service uses IPAWS to send alerts for: tornadoes, flash floods, hurricanes, extreme wind, blizzards and ice storms, tsunamis, and dust storms.
EAS (Emergency Alerting System) - This is a system whereby local government sends emergency information via the National Weather Service to the broadcast stations and these stations in turn broadcast it to the public. The primary alerting station is KEMC-FM - 91.7mhz and the secondary alerting station is KGHL-AM- 790khz. These stations, as well as the National Weather Service, broadcast emergency information to the public in the South Central Montana EAS Operational Area which includes the following counties and their county seats: Yellowstone (Billings), Big Horn (Hardin), Carbon (Red Lodge), Stillwater (Columbus), Sweetgrass (Big Timber), Wheatland (Harlowton), Golden Valley (Ryegate) and Musselshell (Roundup).
2.NOAA Weather Radio - The National Weather Service broadcasts weather related information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on a designated frequency for south central Montana. A NOAA weather radio tuned to that frequency can sound an alert tone for severe weather and alert the public to the weather condition. The Weather Service will also broadcast other non-weather emergency information if it is threatening to the public.