This is a two-part update:
Storm Preparations: We have received communication from Met-Ed that they are prepared with the needed resources to deal with outages in Bucks County as quickly as possible. The Bridgeton Township road crew has indicated that they are prepared for this storm as has Penn DOT. By now, you should have completed whatever steps you feel necessary to prepare for the possibility of power failures and blocked roads. We’re as ready as possible.
Ready Notify: Bucks County has implemented this very useful service that can send emergency alerts by voice to home phones (landlines), as well as via email and via text messages to mobile phones. While we do not need you to register you home phone number if you have a “landline” we do need you to register your mobile phone and email address, especially if you have only a mobile phone and no home phone line We strongly encourage you to register your mobile phone.
We have very low adoption of Ready Notify in Bridgeton Township and we have asked around as to why. We’d like to take this time to clarify a few things about Ready Notify.
Q. Won’t my phone number and other information just get sold? I don’t want junk email and text messages.
A. The information you provide is used ONLY for Emergency Management purposes – there are multiple layers of protection for this information, it is not sold, traded, cross-referenced or used for any other purpose other than sending emergency alerts. There are serious penalties for misuse of any information in the system.
Q. I pay for text messages! I don’t want to run up a huge bill!
A. In all of 2013, the Bridgeton Township EMA sent out zero alerts – we only use the system for communications when it is absolutely necessary. We only send messages that are important to this community and then only with specific information that you can act on. For example, if there is a long-term blackout and free water or supplies become available, we would send an alert with this information. In the event of a major threat to life or safety, we would send an alert. We won’t send an alert to tell you it’s raining.
Q. I’ll just get information from the TV/Internet
A. Televisions don’t work when the power’s out and even if you have a generator, if you have cable TV, the TV service goes out in blackouts. Additionally, the televisions stations don’t give specific, local information pertaining to Bridgeton Township. Our Ready Notify service does. You may have internet via your phone in a blackout, but even that is affected by blackouts as tower sites lose power. Text messages tend to get through when all other mobile communications don’t.
Q. I don’t know how to send text messages.
A. You don’t have to know how to send text messages. Messages are delivered to your phone automatically (once you register your number) and all you do is read them from your phone’s screen.
Q. I would register, but I am not good with computers and don’t know how to do it.
A. Call us. We’ll do it for you. Have your mobile phone number and the name of the carrier (company you pay your bill to) handy.
If you have any more questions about Ready Notify, ask them here, we’ll answer here.