FRANKLIN CO., Va. -

While the radar looks less gloomy than it did just 24 hours ago, that doesn't stop Emergency Officials from gearing up.

Getting the word out has gotten much easier for most places and even us here at WDBJ7.

Emergency Management officials say the most famous example of the power of social media and mobile alerts happened in the Louisa County Earthquake of 2011.  The story goes that people from as far away as New York read about the earthquake on twitter before they felt the tremors.    

"It is amazing, from the social media site, from the technology standpoint," said Billy Ferguson.

Ferguson has done emergency management in Franklin County for 33 years.  He remembers very well life before the digital age.

"You go door to door, you would put the PA system on a police car and you'd say it out and you'd walk down the street with a bullhorn. I just can't see us doing that today," Ferguson added.

The biggest addition to most Emergency Manager's arsenals; reverse 9-1-1.

Ferguson is one of five people in Franklin County who can literally draw a circle or any other shape over a geographical area, see when police are close, and in case of emergency, call every land line in that area.

"It's kind of like an insurance policy; glad you have it, we don't want to use it, if we get by every year and use it it'll be fine for us," Ferguson added.

Whether it's robo-calls, text alerts or social media from local emergency services or even WDBJ7, getting the word out to as many people as possible, just in case, is most important.

Ferguson said in a rural county like Franklin, getting to everyone can be a challenge, but new technologies make reaching a wider audience a little easier.

Those reverse 9-1-1 calls that localities are depending more and more on apply only to landlines unless people sign up their cell phones.  That's one thing emergency officials say can help fewer people slip through the cracks.

Go to your area's emergency management page to sign up if it does use reverse 9-1-1.

Click here to sign up in Roanoke City.

Click here to get info in Lynchburg.

Click here to sign up in Franklin County.