Hominy tackles small town struggles of mass messaging during severe weather

Hominy tackles small town struggles of mass messaging during severe weather (KTUL)

When you work in a small town like Hominy, you make do with the resources you have.

"I'm the City Manager, here in Hominy," said Jimmie Ratliff, but since he also knows a thing or two about computers, he also does IT work.

"I do IT work for the city. Kind of the first line, first tier of IT," said Ratliff.

The people here wear different hats to get the job done, which can make things tricky when it comes to alerting people about severe weather.

"We have limited staff," said Ratliff.

But again, they make do with what they have.

For instance, when severe weather is on the way, they put a message up on the local church's scrolling marque, so everybody driving by can see it, and now, City Manager Felix Nance said they're getting a little more high tech with a phone messaging service.

"We have prerecorded messages, so we're not scrambling to figure out what to say," said Nance. "It's already prerecorded; it's ready. We just hit the button and send it."

Nance said the new phone messaging system takes about ten minutes to call the 300 or so households signed up for the program, so they like to start early.

"So, we try to be proactive. When the storms are still 25, 40, 50 miles out," said Nance.

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But Nance said not everyone in town uses the phone service, and those are the people he's most concerned about.

"That makes it difficult. If they don't have some form of communication, it is difficult," said Nance.

To learn more about how to sign up for the program, click on the city's emergency management page here.

The city also has a Facebook page. You can check that out here.

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