Original Story by Marla K. Kuhlman, ThisWeek Community News
Gahanna residents who want to receive severe weather and other emergency notification alerts from the city will have to sign up at alertfranklin-county.org.
Beginning Friday, July 1, the city of Gahanna will send out its emergency notifications through Franklin County's mass-notification
Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security and all jurisdictions within Franklin County are authorized to issue alerts, which may go out to everyone with an account or to select groups of individuals depending on the type of alerts to which they subscribed or the geographic area affected.
Local jurisdictions use ALERT Franklin County to notify residents about crime alerts, road closures, transportation incidents, utility outages, government closings and other important community news.
Each municipality pays a share to participate in the service, said Niel Jurist, the city's spokeswoman. The alerts come from the city, using the vendor's platform, she said.
Gahanna currently uses CodeRED to send out such emergency notifications, but that service no longer will be available beginning July 1.
"CodeRED served the city well for a number of years," said Tom Kneeland, mayor. "We are migrating to Everbridge, which is the system that Franklin County purchased and will provide us a similar, robust emergency notification system that will cover the entire county and will reduce our costs.
"Unfortunately, because the database used to store user information in CodeRED cannot be used with the new system, people will need to sign up for the new service to continue to receive alerts," Kneeland said.
He said he's happy Gahanna has services that could assist residents in a number of emergency and non-emergency situations.
"By signing up for ALERT Franklin County, residents will receive timely and accurate notifications of impending severe weather and emergencies directly from officials," said Darrel Koerber, interim director of Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security. "These alerts will provide information on where to go, what to do and how to stay informed through text message, email, cellphone
and landlines. Residents can also choose to receive information on crime alerts, road closures (and) other important community news from their local jurisdiction."
The Gahanna cost for the Everbridge system in the first year is about $6,678 and for subsequent years is $6,069. This will result in a savings of about $8,900 per year after July 2016. The CodeRED cost is $15,000 annually, city officials said.
Whether it's a natural disaster or a technology outage, Everbridge automates communications to ensure that the right messages get to the right people at the right time, according to its website. Because its platform is cloud-based, it requires no hardware, installation or maintenance.
Gahanna had 3,775 individuals and 74 businesses registered via cellphones
for CodeRED, as well as 11,972 residents and 1,307 businesses via landlines.
Signing up is quick and easy to do, click here to sign up for ALERT Franklin County.