Emergency Alerts in West Chester
In response to the tornados, I asked our team several questions about what would have happened if those storms would have been 40 miles south – if the storms had hit West Chester.
My first question was about notification. Those storms were in the evening, but I don’t think anyone was prepared for the severity of the storms. If we have an impending weather emergency here, we have – in conjunction with Butler County EMA – a notification system program called GeoCast for mass emergency notification. The system has all published phone numbers incorporated automatically and allows individuals to self-register up to three (3) phone numbers per address.
If you got rid of your land line and want to be a part of this notification system, you have to opt in. Over a three year period (2014-2017) there were only 823 self-registrations in Butler County. Residents and businesses can self-register by following the link and instructions found at https://www.westchesteroh.org/departments/administration/notifications .
The Township also has recently updated our Township Emergency Preparedness Manual to be prepared in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. Our emergency services regularly perform drills in coordination with the EMA and Red Cross to be prepared for such an event.
The scale of the tornadoes in Dayton have made all of our departments take a look at how we would have responded in an emergency like they are facing and we will learn from their experience.
Please take the time to register for GeoCast so your cell phone will be notified in the case of an emergency. Early notification saves lives.