Tuesday, July 17, 2012


On Monday, July 9, the City of Winchester launched a new notification system called DeltAlert for both emergency notices and community outreach. DeltAlert will allow the City to quickly send messages to the public in a variety of ways. The system gives individuals the ability to manage their contact preferences and delivers messages in a variety of formats: landline or cellular phones, TDD/TTY devices, SMS and email. The system can also deliver messages to target audiences such as individuals in certain geographic areas or only to downtown businesses if necessary. 

Having a system such as DeltAlert for emergencies would have been very beneficial during the recent thunderstorms and the unusual 2011 October snowstorm in that left thousands without electricity. Since DeltAlert can send messages to wireless phone numbers, the City could have utilized DeltAlert to send Winchester residents a warning about the storm as well as updates from the power companies concerning their progress with restoring power (if a wireless number was provided). 

The City also plans to utilize the system for community outreach and to send important non-emergency related information to the public, including reminders about public hearings, open houses, Winchester City Council meetings and other public input events. Other messages about upcoming events, street closures, cancellations and programs may be sent in an effort to keep the public informed. 

To sign up, visit http://www.winchesterva.gov/ and click on the DeltAlert icon. Review contact information (landline, mobile, email, etc.) and add additional numbers or email addresses to ensure prompt receipt of messages. You may also make changes to your information and preferences as needed. Another great way to stay informed is to sign up for the CitE-News, the City of Winchester's free, bi-weekly email newsletter. To do this, visit http://www.winchesterva.gov/enews/index.php.

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