Want to know if there is a boil water advisory in the Highland Park area or a tornado watch for Williamsburg or a lengthy traffic jam due to a large wreck near Exit 11?
These are the kind of things that Williamsburg residents will soon be able to find out via an automated call to their phones or a text message sent to their cell phones via the city’s new REACH Alert system.
“We can tell about road closings, water outages, electric outages, severe weather, when the street dances start. It is unlimited on how we can use it,” noted Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison. “Anything that goes on in Williamsburg that we see fit as an alert or a reminder, it will come across your phone or whatever you sign up for. It is pretty cool.”
Harrison said that he had wanted to do something like this for some time, and at a recent Kentucky League of Cities conference he got some more information about it.
To sign up or receive the alerts is free.
Up to four devices per household can be registered to receive alerts.
The city will pay for the service, which this year will be about $1,500 through an introductory offer.
The price is based on the number of water meters in the city, which is about 1,500. The city will be charged about $1 per water meter this year and about $1.50 per year after that.
Harrison said he would be one of the many administrators for the alert system, in addition to officials in the water department, police department, fire department and others.
Harrison noted that the new system would be valuable for situations like one last week where a water line break occurred about 2 a.m. In such an instance a text message or phone alert could be sent to local residents informing them that their water would be out when they woke up in the morning.
“It still might wake you up. It might make you mad, but at least you will know when you get up that you won’t have any water,” he added.
Harrison said that the alert system could also be used to remind people about upcoming events, like the Step It Up with the Mayor one-mile walk that was held Saturday.
The system is similar to the automated calling system that several local school districts already have in place.
Harrison said there will be a link on the city’s website, www.williamsburgky.com, that people can click on to start the registration process.
Williamsburg residents can also register by going to www.reachalert.com.
“It takes less than one minute to register,” Harrison said. “You can choose between a voice call, if you just have a land line, or you can have text, if you have a cell phone, or you can have e-mail if you have a computer.”
Online registration for the alerts is a simple process.
After logging onto the website, you will be asked to enter your first name, your last name and to select a language.
The next screen asks for a telephone number and e-mail address and you are asked to select whether you want to receive a text message or voice call.
The third screen asks you to set a password.
On the fourth screen you are asked to enter the network name, which is the Williamsburg, Kentucky network.
The fifth screen asks if you are a business or a resident and then for a street number and street name.
If you selected text message as your method of choice for receiving alerts, then you will receive a text with a four-digit code that you will enter for validation purposes on the next screen.
The next to the last screen asks you to click to validate if the information you listed earlier is correct. On the last screen you will get confirmation that your notification is now set up.