The Mahoning County EMA has three mediums to alert the public: the outdoor warning siren network, opt-in mass notification system, and the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).
Outdoor Warning Siren Network – There are 50+ sirens located throughout the county. They are meant to alert the public to go indoors and seek further information from other sources (Emergency Broadcast System, Local Media, etc.). An audible test is conducted every Saturday at noon and during the statewide test for Severe Weather Week in March. A silent/diagnostic test is conducted every Monday. They aren’t just for weather as they can produce multiple tones: steady tone for weather alerts, warble/up & down tone for attacks or civil defense alerts, and specific tones for nuclear plant emergency if within specified distance from a plant. This is no longer the preferred alerting method for local, state, or federal agencies.
Opt-In Mass Notification System – The opt in mass notification system allows the EMA to send alerts sent via mobile phone, email, and social media posts. These are public safety alerts but not as emergent as IPAWS alerts. They can include post incident instructions, life safety equipment failures such as power failures and water system disruptions, unscheduled road closures, etc. Use of system is offered to all political subdivisions in the county at no cost. To register or edit your already existing profile, go to https://www.getrave.com/login/mahoningcountyoh or use the QR code provided.
Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) – IPAWS disseminates authenticated emergency information from local, state, or federal emergency management officials sent to mobile phones using Wireless Emergency Alerts, radio and TV using the Emergency Alert System, and NOAA Weather Radio Alerts. The system is administered by FEMA and allows for geographically targeted messages to be sent by using a “geo-fence”. The types of alerts include Presidential Alerts that specific only to national emergencies, Imminent Threat Alerts that include disasters, extreme weather (sent by the National Weather Service), active shooter, etc., and public safety alerts that can be information about a threat that may not be imminent or follow up information to higher level alerts. All mobile phones come with emergency alerts activated, but they can be turned off by the user (this is not recommended)