Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

April 9, 2012

Emergency notifications feed to social media sites

 

Thanks to an upgrade to the system that issues emergency phone notifications for the city, Burleson residents were notified in multiple ways Tuesday of the potential for severe weather and tornadoes. 

As of March, the Blackboard Connect emergency phone notification includes an RSS feed from Blackboard to the City’s Facebook page and the city’s Twitter page. The message posted on Facebook is the same as the recorded message that is heard in the Blackboard emergency phone notification. The message posted on Twitter is a shorter version. The city has more than 4,500 fans of the city Facebook page and 263 followers on the city Twitter page.

 That social media notification is in addition to the phone call and email that was already part of the Blackboard Connect notification. Blackboard Connect alerts are pre-recorded telephone messages made to the publicly-listed phone numbers of residents and businesses in the city.

Individuals and businesses may also go online and add cell phone numbers so they can receive the pre-recorded voice message via a cell phone. The emergency alerts are sent by e-mail, if requested. This service is free to the public. The Blackboard Connect emergency phone and email notifications reach almost 11,800 contacts. The city has contracted with Blackboard Connect since 2008.

 The city also has an outdoor warning siren system that includes 10 sirens within the city’s 26 square miles. The siren has both voice and sound (siren and horn). There are two types of weather alerts, the tornado alert and the severe weather alert. The tornado alert includes a voice message followed by a three-minute siren and ends with a repeat of the voice message. The severe weather alert includes a voice message followed by a 30-second discontinuous horn, and ends with a repeat of the voice message. When the outdoor warning system sirens are sounded, citizens should go inside and seek shelter in an interior room. To hear what the alerts sound like, visit www.burlesontx.com/weatheralerts.

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