Kansas county launches new text alert system

Officials in Douglas County, Kansas, announced the launch of a new emergency and weather alert system this week.

According to the Lawrence Journal World, the new system offers the county a more efficient and cost-effective way to notify residents of impending emergency situations. 

The major advantage to the service is it's broader scope. As part of the Northeast Kansas Regional Notification System, important information on relevant incidents in other parts of the state can be sent to people outside of those immediate communities. With the addition of Douglas, 11 counties in Kansas are currently collaborating in the service.

In those other counties, roughly 6,000 people are enrolled in the service, according to Douglas County Emergency Management assistant director Jillian Rodrigue. The addition of Douglas may significantly add to that number, as the county's previous bulk SMS alert service was utilized by 3,700 residents. Those subscribed to the old system will need to opt-in to the new service, and can do so by visiting the county's website.

As many who have run a text message marketing campaign can attest, message frequency is a main concern for marketers, as too may messages by drive a customer to opt-out of the program. That issue was one of the contributing factors towards the system switch in Douglas. Rodrigue said that the prior service sent out messages that many residents felt were unnecessary, and voiced their concerns to county officials. 

"The first time a resident sees a message or gets a phone call they can confirm with the system. Once confirmed, the system will stop bothering them and they won't get any additional alerts," Rodrigue told the Journal World. "It's going to be really good for people to receive less notifications, but really receive them when they need to take some action."

Companies can also utilize the power of bulk SMS services with the SMS API from Swift SMS Gateway.