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Clarke County Emergency Management is launching a new community notification service called “Nixle” week to improve communication with people who live, work and visit the area.

The system provides a quick, efficient, and secure way to get neighborhood-level information out to community members who subscribe to the system. Through www.nixle.com, the department will be able to send text message (SMS) and e-mail alerts to subscribers in a specific area, down to .25 miles.

Notifications might be considered in the following instances:

• A young child or adult with Alzheimer’s disease walks away from their home. The alert can include a picture of the child or vulnerable adult with a map identifying the area at which they were last seen.

• A public safety emergency requires people to stay in or remain away from their homes. A Nixle alert can let residents with a registered address in the affected neighborhood know what’s happening, allowing residents to take a proactive role in their own safety.

• A serious injury or fatal crash in which traffic investigators close down the intersection for several hours during the morning commute. This situation might warrant a notification to subscribers who live or work in the area, encouraging them to select a different route to work.

• Other uses: Large-scale public works projects, traffic safety implications around large fire scenes, community events such as parades, fireworks, picnics, details about a case of H1N1 “swine flu” in the area, city-council meeting information and utility outage advisories/boil orders.

Through Nixle, emergency management will deliver messages securely to citizens by e-mail and cell phone, supporting and expanding its community outreach efforts.

The system will be most effective when there are large numbers of subscribers. The public is invited spread the word about the use of the system and add this information to the bottom of their e-mail signature: “Up-to-the-minute updates from city agencies by e-mail and cell phone: www.nixle.com”

Nixle is a secure communications service available to municipal, county and state government agencies. The system is available at no cost to citizens (standard text message rates apply for subscribers who do not have text plans with their cell phone providers).

If you have suggestions for potential Nixle publications that might interest citizens, share them with Allan Mathias or Jessica Conley by e-mail or phone. Residents can receive technical and non-technical assistance directly from Nixle sending email to support@nixle.com

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