Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Texting Soon Available For Local Emergencies

Cookeville area residents may soon have a faster way to learn about potential emergency situations in the area. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, or TEMA as its called, has adopted an online messaging service to enhance its ability to provide public warnings in a timely fashion. Officials say they will be using the free online secure messaging service Nixle. They say alerts can be targeted to recipients in specific geographic areas. Nixle, a community information service, will allow TEMA to create and publish messages to be delivered to subscribed residents instantly via cell phone with text messages and/or e-mail on a hand-held device. Officials say the service is reliable and free for TEMA to use. Nixle is similar, they say, to other web-based public-to-public communications tools, but offers a level of security needed for public warnings and emergency information messages.Residents can begin receiving pertinent TEMA information via text message, e-mail or the website by registering at http://www.nixle.com/. There is no spam and no hidden cost to subscribers, although standard text messaging rates do apply.