July 1, 2016


North Ridgeville to provide severe weather alerts

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Households will receive timely alerts to severe storms and other emergencies under an agreement among the city, the Lorain County Office of Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Security.

Notices of approaching severe storms, tornadoes, water main breaks or extreme snowfalls will be sent to residents via emails, texts and voicemail messages dispatched to cell phones and smartphones, as well as traditional land-line telephones, said Mayor David Gillock, who announced the program during this week’s City Council meeting.

At present, the city puts out such messages on its website and by email to residents who sign up for such notifications.

Use of the county emergency alert system will provide more detailed information that can be targeted to the entire community, and also to specific neighborhoods and streets, he said.

“We’ll be able to narrow it down to send messages to specific geographic areas in cases where there’s a water main break or other issues, and we have to shut off water to particular streets,” Gillock said.

Emergency alerts will be dispatched by City Hall, as well as the city’s fire and police departments. The city will bear no cost for signing on to use the county system, Gillock said.

Tom Kelley, director of the Lorain County Office of Emergency Management Agency, did not return calls seeking comment.

The city has yet to see a demonstration of how the system will work or receive training for personnel who will use it, but city officials are looking forward to getting it running.

“This will enhance our ability to notify people, especially in instances of severe storms, so they can take precautions and get ready,” Gillock said.

The enhanced emergency alert system may become available before the end of the year, Gillock said.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.

About Steve Fogarty

Steve Fogarty has been with the Chronicle-Telegram since 1978. He primarily covers North Ridgeville. He can be reached at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com..