In light of the recent Hurricane Sandy (and communications) catastrophe in Plainfield, it is imperative for residents to sign up for alerts so that they will know when a disaster is impending. After last year's hurricane (Irene), members of the city council asked the city to find a way to effectively communicate with Plainfielders by investigating an emergency response system. Nothing was done and, this year, the city found itself again in a situation where residents had no clue as to whom to turn or what to do.
I am hopeful that the administration's woeful communications shortcomings will be resolved and that they will follow up on the council's recommendation to create a workable resolution. Winter is coming and, with it, other possible emergencies. It behooves the administration to develop a working communications plan. Dan Damon, in his Plainfield Today blog, outlined the Nixle mass notification system used by many law enforcement and other government agencies in nearby communities--click here to read his post.
In the meantime, however, city residents should sign up for Union County's UC First Alert Network system to receive alerts via cell phone, email, pager, or Smartphone. Below is a link to the website to sign up, followed by a description of the UC First Alert Network:
The County of Union uses the UC First Alert Network to immediately contact you during a major crisis or emergency. The UC First Alert Network delivers important emergency alerts, notifications and updates to you on all your devices:
- email account (work, home, other)
- cell phone (via SMS)
- smartphone/PDA (BlackBerry, Treo & and other handhelds)