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(Toledo News Now) -
County officials have announced Lucas County Alerts, a notification system that provides emergency alerts to the public via text messages and e-mails.
The system is free and offered to anyone choosing to opt in, whether they live, work, or have family in Lucas County. People can sign up online to receive alerts regarding emergencies, such as severe weather and Amber Alerts.
"It's a new day, and this is a new opportunity to use technology," said Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon-Wosniak.
Lucas County Alerts supplement current emergency warning methods, such as outdoor warning sirens, the Emergency Alert System, and tone-activated weather radios.
"The sirens went off, everybody runs for the basement. That world's come and gone, thank God. Right now, it is the world of apps, the world of electronics, the world of wireless, 3G, 4G, any kind of G," said Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken.
The service cost $40,500 and is split among 911, the Lucas County Emergency Management Agency, and communities within the county that have opted in, including Toledo, Oregon, Whitehouse and Monclova Township. Community alerts go beyond emergency alerts, providing resident's with local information, such as road closures, leaf pick-up, trash schedules and more.
The partnership between local communities and the county provides a more efficient and cost-effective system for residents to stay informed.
"With the things that happened last week in Washington D.C., where they had a lot of things going on, and if people could get that type of information fairly quickly, it would be extremely beneficial to them. And it makes the job of the safety forces - the individuals behind me - a lot easier," said Toledo Mayor Mike Bell.