GREENFIELD — Anyone passing through Hancock County with a smartphone this past weekend likely received text alerts about the storm, courtesy of the county’s new emergency notification system.
The system, which can be used to alert residents of all manner of emergencies, went into effect last fall. The weekend’s winter blast gave law enforcement the opportunity to quickly alert resident to hazardous conditions.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Signup is free
The emergency notification system cost the county about $20,000, but its service is provided free of charge to residents. In the case of a large-scale disaster, law enforcement can choose to send alerts to any smartphone within a certain radius, even if the device doesn’t belong to a county resident, just someone passing through.
Residents must register to receive optional alerts. To register, visit hancockcountyalert.bbcportal.com.
2. Alerts are customizable
You can sign up to receive alerts by email or on your smartphone (via text or call). If you sign up, you won’t be inundated by alerts, officials said. That’s because you can choose which alerts will come your way and which ones will automatically bypass your account.
Alerts can be issued for notifications about inclement weather, road closures, Amber alerts and more.
3. Your data is secure
Users’ privacy is not compromised. Signing up does not allow the system to access any of your personal information, officials said.
In the event law enforcement officials choose to alert everyone in a geographic area, the transmission process is one-way. County officials don’t receive data from devices in the area; they simply select the area, called the “geofence,” to receive an alert.