NEWTON, Ill. (WTHI) - On a sunny summer day, the weather can change fast for residents in Newton Illinois. That was the case last Thursday.
Natalie Hopson with the Jasper County Chamber of Commerce says, "I didn't even know it was supposed to rain or storm even all that bad. But then all of a sudden the winds blew in."
Natalie was setting up for the city's Summerfest when the storms moved in. But thanks to a new warning system, she and organizers were able to get to safety.
Natalie says, "We were getting ready to setup up for the festival. And I got a couple of phone calls saying the storm was getting ready to hit. So it was nice to be warned."
The calls came from the counties new alert system, Code Red.
Doug Long with the Jasper County Emergency Management Agency says, "We don't have any warning systems for weather in the county. We used to have one siren but it, unfortunately, cannot reach a very far distance. So we decided to go to a telephone notification system."
The new system calls residents in Jasper County for weather emergencies, as well as local and county emergencies. Long says it's important for residents to sign up.
Long explains, "If we get people to subscribe to it and get their information in. We can map notifications out through the city and throughout the county where ever we need to."
For Natalie, it's important to sign up so she can stay connected.
"especially if like the utilities go out if there is a water main break or something like that. It's nice to get that phone call. That we were warned in case we don't get on facebook or don't get on the radio or something like that. It's nice" Natalie says.
To sign up for Code Red alerts: Click Here.