FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Freeholder Deputy Director Ronald G. Rios
Chair, Administration Committee
Middlesex County Unveils Robust
Community Notification System
Residents encouraged to register to receive notifications
MARCH 15, 2012 – The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders tonight introduced the Middlesex County Community Notification System. This state-of-the-art communication system can process thousands of contacts per minute for immediate notification.
The initial rollout of the program is for emergency notifications only, but the capacity and capability of this robust system will allow the County and each municipal participant to use the system for non-emergency notifications in the near future, said Freeholder Deputy Director Ronald G. Rios, who introduced the program.
“This incredibly robust communications tool can send thousands of notifications within seconds via phone, text and e-mail messages. It has proven to be an essential and most effective tool in times of emergency, not only for us as a County but for our municipalities as well,” said Rios, chair of the Administration Committee.
During Hurricane Irene, the County on behalf of Dunellen, Helmetta, Milltown, Perth Amboy, Plainsboro and South Amboy, used this system to send urgent messages to residents regarding storm and flood warnings, evacuation orders and boil water advisories, he said. With the County’s help, this system allowed these municipalities to get out critical information quickly and seamlessly.
“The success of the system during the hurricane was the impetus behind our latest Shared Services offering: to expand use of this highly capable system for non-emergency events as well,” Rios said.
Program participants will be able to send timely, accurate information via phone, text or e-mail messages to as large or as small a group as needed. Those notifications can be targeted to a specific geographic area because the system uses GIS or Geographic Information System Technology. It is fully supported and backed-up to ensure communications readiness at all times and provides a log of all notifications made.
“Middlesex County’s Community Notification System is an efficient way for us and our municipal partners to communicate important information to our residents,” said Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano. “And because the County has already purchased and implemented the system, we can offer it to our municipalities as a shared service, while at the same time take advantage of the system’s substantial capabilities.”
Old Bridge has become the first town to embrace this expanded use, and the County is working with Monroe Township and others to join as well.
Rios added: “The most critical step in making this the most effective notification system it can be is to get residents, business owners and those who work in Middlesex County to register.”
Rios said a link to the self-registration page has been placed on the County Web site at http://co.middlesex.nj.us. Old Bridge Township will also place a link on its Web site.
All personal and contact information entered on the site will be kept confidential and not shared with any third party.
“I encourage all who live or work in Middlesex County to take advantage of this effective communications tool,” Rios said. “As the number of registrants grows, the effectiveness of the system increases.”