Whether you called it Nemo, Charlotte, Snowpocalypse, or just a plain bad-ass snowstorm, yesterday’s blizzard left most of Connecticut buried under anywhere from one to three feet of snow, more in a few places. Our toen of Wallingford got socked with 35 inches of grade A white stuff, and today we’re still hard-pressed to see our roads, driveways, walkways or even out our windows because of the immense amount of snow we got in a short period of time.
As it often happens, getting timely information about what’s happening around your community during big weather events such as this – and Hurricane Sandy before it – can sometimes be frustrating. We moderate a Facebook group for the residents of our town, Wallingford CT Community Forum, and among the 1,118 current members there are thankfully many town officials and resourceful citizens who post valuable information about the goings on around town as it becomes available, and it has proved to be a huge asset in keeping residents informed, allaying their fears and frustrations, and finding help for those that need it.
Not every community is lucky enough to have a means of communication such as our Facebook group (although it’s easy enough to start one), but one way to stay informed about emergency situations such as Blizzard Nemo/Charlotte is by registering with the state Emergency Notification System, CT Alert. The system uses the Enhanced 911 database for location-based notifications to the public regarding life-threatening emergencies, and all 169 Connecticut towns participate. It normally uses only landline phones to broadcast alerts, but you can have alerts sent to other devices such as your email or cell phone by setting up a profile on their web site HERE. The program is only as good as the information you provide, so be sure to enter accurately all the methods you wish to be notified by when you set up your profile.
Once you’re all set up for notifications, you’ll receive them by the method you selected during your account set up. The process begins when the State of Connecticut or your local 911 Emergency Communication Centers issues a message about a potential safety hazard or concern. Messages will be sent to all standard voice and text communication devices, including land line phones, mobile phones, e-mail, and more. If you don’t confirm receipt of the message, the system may try to reach your second contact number or email address if the message is critical and requires your confirmation. NOTE: In an emergency, the system may continue trying to contact you until it receives a confirmation from you, so please confirm receipt of the message as directed. Here’s a link to the message we received today from our mayor, William Dickinson: Wallingford ENS Message
It’s no fun when Mother Nature throws a tantrum and either blasts us with hurricane force winds or buries us in a shroud of snow 3 feet deep. But it happens, and there’s not much we can do to prevent it. But we can stay informed about it through the CT Alert Emergency Notification System. It’s easy to set up and just might help you keep your family safe during a state of emergency. Please, take a moment now to set up your account, it’s five minutes that will be well worth it.