The Heads-Up-Howard Public Alert System Has Been Retired

Constantly evolving technology has brought many changes and improvements in the way messages are communicated with small and large audiences.   Because of those changes, Howard County is discontinuing its use of Heads-Up-Howard as a public alert and warning system.  The County has shifted its non-emergency messaging to a new service that will allow for better communication and interaction.

Weather alerts are available through a variety of mobile applications which can be found at www.weather.gov/subscribe.  The County's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) also recommends that every home have a NOAA all hazards radio for personal alerting purposes.  Working with the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) Emergency Alert System , the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) created an "All Hazards" radio network, making it your single source for comprehensive weather and emergency information. In conjunction with Federal, State, and Local Emergency Managers and other public officials, it also broadcasts warning and post-event information for all types of hazards – including natural (such as earthquakes or avalanches), environmental (such as chemical releases or oil spills), and public safety (such as AMBER alerts or 911 Telephone outages). 

You can also follow Howard County Government on a variety of social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, through email service, and on-line at www.howardcountymd.gov.   
 
Moving forward, emergency messaging will now be done through geographic targeting landlines and cell phones using a system known as the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS.)  This is for emergency messaging only, and requires no action to be taken on your part.  IPAWS was created through a Presidential Executive Order, which required our nation to have “an effective, reliable, integrated, flexible and comprehensive system to alert and warn the American people in situations of war, terrorist attack, natural disaster or other hazards to public safety and well-being.”  IPAWS only works on cell phones that have wireless emergency alerts (WEA) enabled, to confirm your WEA are enabled please check your service provider’s website (due to the many mobile operating systems in use there are too many options to post here).  You can also follow the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) on Facebook, and Twitter.
 
Please contact the Public Information Office at 410-313-2022 if you have further questions.