Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Signing up is easy... just click on the link here..  It will take you to the registration page.  You set what Notifications you receive.  There are some, such as a Law Enforcement Warning or Hazardous Materials Warnings that I would recommend for everyone.  Watches are held until 7 AM regardless of the type of watch.  If you have questions, please call the office.

There is no charge for signing up for Emergency Notifications, however, standard texting rates will apply.  Check with your carrier.

You can sign up for multiple counties, for instance, if you live in Adams County and work in Union County, you can get alerts from both counties.  Our system does not "track" your cellphone, so you may get alerts from Union County even if you are home.

The best way to receive messages is by text through your cellphone.  However, if you do not have one your residential phone will receive a voice call.  Text messages go out faster than voice calls  because they do not bog the system down.

The information you provide to Alert Iowa/Union County Emergency Notification System is protected  by according to Iowa law, it can not be shared with any outside party.  The information is used only in emergency situations.  This includes any special needs that you have that you have shared to help responders in case of an emergency (if you are vision or hearing-impaired, confined to a wheelchair, have special medical equipment, or service animal, etc.)

To update or change your information, you will need to complete the sign-up for again, just like the first time.  Any information you change will be overwritten with the new information you have provided.


How do I get a 9-1-1 address?

9-1-1 addresses are issued through this office.  To obtain an address you must fill out the 9-1-1 Address Form and send the $25.00 fee.  All checks should be made out to the "Union County Treasurer".   The address will be issued and a sign installed by Union County Secondary Roads.  Please be sure to include all contact information on the address form.  For more information, see the Union County Ordinances, which are available here.

It takes a up to a week to establish a new address, it may take several weeks before the sign is placed depending on the sign crew's schedule.  Be patient.  If you are building a new driveway, after issuance of the permit, then ask for the address, as it will be based on your driveway.  The sign will be placed on the side of your driveway that emergency services will come from and outside of the right-of-way.  Please do not change your sign location once it has been placed.

Remember to keep the sign visible by trimming around it and keeping snow from piling up around it.

If your sign  becomes damaged, contact this office, depending on the circumstances it may be replaced for no fee.

What are your office hours?

Union County Emergency Management's regular office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.  We are closed on County designated holidays.  In addition, since this is a "one-person" office, if I am attending meetings or trainings the office will be closed.  I recommend you call ahead before stopping by.

How do I  become more prepared for Emergencies?

You will find links to many resources here on the website, such as Ready Iowa, FEMA, and a wealth of other resources.  I would recommend a "Family Communications Plan" as your first step.  This can be used for any type of emergency, such as a house fire, gas leak in your home or business, sudden illness, etc.

Other planning considerations should include your pets, any special medical needs, important documents, a "to-go" kit, a shelter-in-place kit with at least 72 hours supply.