Emergency management officials in Erie County, New York are hoping residents will sign up for a new alert system that is designed to immediately inform residents when there is a dangerous or crisis situation occurring in the area.
The system, called New York Alert, will make residents aware of what is happening in their communities by sending out text messages and emails regarding emergency situations in real time. The system also allows emergency management officials to communicate directly with residents in order to provide as well as gather information from them and find out if help is needed anywhere in the area.
It is being thought of as a broadcasting network that transmits messages via internet and cellular networks as a support for the county’s emergency management infrastructure. The system is paid for by the state of New York and many city and county officials are calling it a “no brainer” in the sense that it is something that probably should have been implemented years ago. But they also have a “better late than never” mentality as well.
There are actually two different ways that the system can work for residents. They can register to receive alerts for a specific area such as their own neighborhood or that of a close relative such as an elderly parent. Or in the event of a life-threatening situation, emergency management officials can send out text blast to all cell phones in a given area.
The latter is one that is looked upon with tremendous favor by community leaders in that it is seen as a way of being able to alert every person with a cell phone in the entire county if there is an emergency.
Most emergency managers say that they like to have complete control when performing their job during a crisis situation and with New York alert that is exactly what they have.