OTSEGO COUNTY, N.Y. (WKTV) -- In the case of an emergency, speed is usually the most important factor and now the Otsego County Office of Emergency Services has a way to send thousands of calls or messages at one time.
Officials can instantly send emergency information to the entire county or even just a specific street. It's most useful in the case of hazardous chemical releases, missing persons, stand-offs, and also, storm warnings and boil water alerts like we saw in Central New York in June.
The alerts will let residents know exactly what's happening and how they should respond to the situation. All home phones have been automatically added to the system, but officials are stressing that residents sign up for cell phone and email alerts.
"There [are] many people now who no longer have a landline phone in their residence and they utilize just a cell phone. The other added benefit to registering your cell phones and e-mails is if you're away from your local area, you're away from your home and we put out information that pertains to your specific area no matter where you are, you'll get that information," said Kevin Ritton, Coordinator at the Otsego County Office of Emergency Services.
You can go to OtsegoCounty.com, click on the banner at the top of the page and fill out the form.
Ritton also says the new system can do more than others.
"We have the ability to put out information to a specific geographic area and including that information we can broadcast off the local cell towers. So, we have a large tourist population here during the summer that would not be registered in any type of systems we have.
We're able to notify those people by cell phone of any emergencies in their local area as well," he said.
Officials also want to remind everyone that this is just one way to stay informed and you should always seek information from as many reliable sources as you can. The system is already up and running so you can go sign up right now.
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