Most of us love those phone calls from the city that warn of impending danger, or other emergencies.

Now, thanks to a new system, they will be getting better, according to Tom Munoz, emergency manager for Texas City.

Talking to the assembled guests at the Community Advisory Committee, Munoz said we could get not only phone messages but texts and emails. It will link up special groups, like all the plant managers, all the school officials, etc.

We can be warned about all kinds of things, like hurricanes, chemical spills and missing persons. Messages are also sent to the hearing impaired.

Like every other modern convenience, the system has a name. IPAWS. That stands for Integrated Public Alert Warning System. Aren’t you happy to know that?

The most important thing to know about this system is that you have to get your phone number, or numbers, registered. Tom can be reached at 409-643-5880.

Present registrations will be carried over, but lots more advantages can be registered, like adding phone numbers to your list.

Also, you can go to the library or city hall and get yourself linked in. Or check

Munoz confessed there are some emergencies he tends to skip, and with good reason.

“When we had streets flooding at 2 a.m., I decided not to call everybody to tell them the streets were flooding.”

He said he figured nobody wanted to be awakened at 2 a.m., when all the flood waters would probably be drained off by the time they got up.

And they were.

Munoz is planning a Hurricane Town Hall meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Doyle Convention Center. Someone in the big CAC audience also noted hot dogs would be served.

Based on my past experience attending these big hurricane gatherings, lots of important information from various important people will be disseminated, along with the hot dogs.

Also, on May 28, the city did a test of the new system, so we could all see whether it works or not.

If you were here before, during and following Hurricane Ike, for example, you know how important those messages became.

The original voice on the phone was Bruce Clawson’s. And his reassuring words following the storm brought us all a sense of peace and hope.

Here’s hoping Munoz doesn’t have to use all this new equipment except to do an annual test.

But get signed up, just in case.

Cathy Gillentine is a Daily News columnist. She may be reached at

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