A major part Iroquois County’s charm is its geographical size compared to its population.

Did you know with 1,119 square miles within its boundaries, Iroquois County is the third largest county in the state by land area and the fifth largest in total area?

The vast county in terms of geographical size is inhabited by less than 30,000 people. That puts its population far below the size of urban counties such as Cook, DuPage, Lake and nearby Will, and most Iroquois County residents wouldn’t have it any other way.

But the combination of vast land populated by relatively few people can present some challenges, and a long-standing obstacle has been the ability to communicate emergency messages in a speedy fashion.

That’s why the addition of a mass notification system is a godsend for the county, and a service that should be accessed by all who live there.

“There are gaps in how residents are warned,’’ Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency Director Eric Ceci said in a Page One story published by the Daily Journal Thursday. “Warning sirens are good but they don’t reach everybody. This gives us another tool to keep the public safe.’’

The system, made possible through a contract with Hyper-Reach, relies on a method which provides quick notification of hazardous and urgent matters through a mixture of telephone calls, text and email messages, smart speaker alerts and other advanced alerting channels.

We know all too well how tornadoes and strong storms have wreaked havoc in these parts. Iroquois County has the added potential of flooding problems as high water along the Iroquois River, including historic floods in recent years, have occurred.

Officials have done their part, and now the next step in the process is up to county residents. Protect yourself, your family and your property by signing up for the system. Enroll by calling or texting “Alert” to 779-218-9348 or by going to the website hyper-reach.com/iliroquoissignup.html. For more details, call 815-432-6997.

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