(DELAWARE, Ohio) —The DELCO ALERT system, now available for sign-up on the county’s website, will send text and email alerts for severe weather events, and will send telephone, text and email alerts for emergency events like boil alerts and “shelter in place” warnings.
These warnings also will automatically appear on Twitter and Facebook feeds for the Delaware County 9-1-1 Center and the Delaware County Emergency Management Agency.
“Advances in technology have made it possible for us to get warnings to residents much faster,” said Sean Miller, director of the Delaware County Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency. “Where previously it would have taken 15, 20, even 30 minutes for automated calls to be made to everyone who had signed up for alerts, now we can send texts and emails to a broader audience in a fraction of the time.”
“It’s a new system, so folks will have to register their phone numbers and email addresses with us,” said Delaware County Director of Emergency Communications Patrick Brandt, adding that the information is not used for any other purpose.
Residents will need to register for DELCO ALERT, even if they previously were registered for the old CodeRED system, which will go out of operation at midnight on March 11. The county had already ended its use of CodeRED for weather alerts. The new system is administered by Everbridge, a Massachusetts-based firm that was founded in the wake of 9/11 and now provides more than 3,000 communities and corporations around the world with crisis-communications systems.
The new system also comes at a cost savings. The previous system had cost the county $24,900 per year. The DELCO ALERT system has an annual cost of $20,000.
To register, users should go to http://www.co.delaware.oh.us and click on the DELCO ALERT link on the bottom right side of the home page. Users also can go directly to http://www.delcoema.org/ or http://delco911.org/index.php/delco-aler…. (If the CodeRED option is still displayed, the computer’s browser cache must first be cleared.) The user can register by filling out the online form. All information collected is kept confidential and will not be shared for any other use.
When registering, users can opt to receive text and/or email alerts for warnings of high wind, flash floods, blizzards, freezing rain, winter storms, severe thunderstorm warnings and watches, and tornado watches. By registering, any user will automatically receive tornado warnings.
Users can also opt to receive telephone, email and/or text alerts for emergency notifications including boil alerts and “shelter in place” warnings.
Those residents who do not have access to texts or emails can call 740-833-2180, and staff will assist them in finding other notification tools. Staff and volunteers will be available via phone Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. If calling outside those hours, please leave a message and it will be returned promptly.
Contact: Sandy Mackey, Delaware County Emergency Management