Jerusalem Twp. offers emergency alerts

Kelly J. Kaczala

        Jerusalem Township is hoping more residents will sign up with an emergency alert system that warns of imminent danger to safety, such as severe weather, as well as public service announcements, in text messages on their cell phones and other compatible mobile devices.
        Earlier this year, the township implemented a Wireless Emergency Network System (WENS), according to Trustee Mark Sattler. Residents can sign up for it on the township’s website.
        “When we send out a text message, those who signed up will get it in real time,” he said.
        “A few weeks back, we got a report that there was an odor, and there were people who were concerned about it. I talked to the fire chief. He indicated they investigated it. There was a business that was cleaning out an oil storage tank. The odor was not harmful. It was just a noticeable odor. So I was able to put that message out and reassure people in real time that it’s nothing to worry about. It was non-hazardous. And the fire chief was aware,” said Sattler.
Civic alerts
        “We also put out reminders for when you can put out a bulk item along with your garbage pickup – those kinds of civic alerts,” said Sattler.
        “We try to improve the frequency, timeliness and quantity of communication to folks,” said Sattler.
        Examples of potentially critical situations include house fires, missing children, and tornado warnings.
        At last count, said Sattler, there were just over 300 residents who have signed up.
        “Is there room for more? Oh yes, there’s plenty of room for more. We have a population of just under 3,000. We have maybe 15-percent of adults signed up,” he said.
        Sattler sends out most of the messages.
        “I think people appreciate getting text messages in real time. If we can get information out in a timely manner, it can be very effective. If there’s a fire, the fire chief could put something out saying, `Please avoid this route for the next couple of hours because there’s an active fire fight going on.’”
Lucas County
        By signing up, residents will not only receive township alerts, but also Lucas County emergency alerts and public service announcements. In the event of an emergency, an alert would be sent to a phone number or an email address provided by the resident.
        It is a free service provided by the township. However, normal message fees may apply. To receive text messages, your cell phone must have text messaging capabilities. By registering, you will not receive unsolicited calls, and neither Jerusalem Township, Lucas County, nor its system vendor sells the contact number database.
        To sign up, go to the township website at, then scroll to the bottom of the page. Under “Information,” click “Site Map.” Then scroll to the bottom of the page and click the link “Wireless Emergency Network System (WENS) is now live!” to fill out a registration form.


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