Three weeks ago we ran into an issue. We needed to contact a number of business and building owners very quickly to communicate an emergency infrastructure issue, but our access to “off hours” contacts was limited. This isn’t the first time an emergency contact situation has popped up. Although our Emergency Communications folks do a great job with severe weather alerts, communicating basement access points in commercial areas can be tricky. Other immediate threats can be equally difficult to convey if we don’t have access to direct contact information.
Last February (2020) our Emporia Main Street Board of Directors discussed adding a text based alert system to our suite of services. Our reasoning was that there were times we needed to have immediate outreach capabilities to pass along vital information, and newer technology could enhance our ability to conduct outreach to the people impacted by a given situation. Then the pandemic happened… A lot of our planning was placed on hold because we needed to switch our focus to the immediate financial needs of area businesses and non-profits.
We are still in a pandemic, but the need to communicate in cases of emergency remains. So, the Emporia Main Street Board of Directors chose to engage a direct text system to enhance outreach in very limited circumstances. We won’t use the system to let you know about area sales or to solicit event participation. This system will be engaged to communicate things like infrastructure issues, street closures, emergency strategies, and other immediate threats to the area.
So, what do we need from you? We are providing a link to a basic survey input system. We simply need names, business name, business address, mobile numbers, and any special instructions you provide.
We need businesses in the area (even if you aren’t an Emporia Main Street member) to sign up for emergency communication via text. Like any text based system, you will have the ability to opt out, and if you have changes in command chain we ask that you help us keep your information updated.
Emporia Main Street will continue to utilize our email systems, social media, and direct phone access to contact businesses and individuals about a variety of topics. Our local media and emergency managers are an immediate source of breaking news. The downtown sound system can be utilized for direct communication in a limited area of the core. The direct text system is simply another layer of direct communication to keep people informed about issues that may directly impact them. Please use the link above to sign up, and encourage your business neighbors to do the same.