Naperville residents tests emergency text alerts system

Inclement weather can cause destruction and interruptions to day-to-day activity, so the town of Naperville, Illinois, is hoping to provide peace of it mind with its emergency text alerts system.

Coincidentally, the town had such capabilities last November, when a string of cyclones made landfall across the state, but the town was not prepared to test the system at the time, a local ABC affiliate reported. It has been three months since the incident occurred, and now the town's government is asking more than 100,000 to sign up for this SMS service.

"If you opt in, you can say how you want to hear from us. They also can opt to receive a phone call, text message, email or a smart phone app meant for," Naperville Communications Manager Linda La Cloche told the source.

During Naperville's first round of tests, they were able to reach out to 5,000 phone numbers and emails at 1 p.m. on March 4, according to the Chicago Tribune. Naperville chose this specific date because it aligned with Illinois' Severe Weather Preparedness Week — this measure is among the many drills people experienced.

"This is only a test. In the event of an actual emergency, the City of Naperville would use its Naper Notify notification system to alert the community to an incident impacting life, safety, or property," the body of the message read.

Naperville's decision to roll out the text alerts were in response to the National Weather Service's recommendation, which found that these communities need to do more to "develop safety plan[s] as early as possible." Instead of relying on local news for incoming severe weather, everyone who chooses to sign up for Naperville's notification service will be given plenty of notice via text message.

Cities and towns that are looking to implement their own mobile communications system can consult with Swift SMS Gateway for a texting platform that is the most effective.