MARION – Williamson County 911 and Williamson County EMA is asking all of its citizens with Amazon smart speakers – Alexa, Echo and similar devices – to activate a new service to receive emergency messages from the Williamson County EMA and Local Municipalities.
“Hyper-Reach” will allow Williamson County 911/EMA to send free emergency messages to citizens on Alexa-compatible smart speakers.
Since 2012, the Williamson County EMA has provided emergency alerts to all the residents for the county, warning of hazards and other important information by phone, text message, email and more.
For Alexa, the Hyper-Reach service is a skill that must be enabled on the Alexa device. All that’s required is to say “Alexa, enable Hyper-Reach” and then following the instructions provided by the Alexa device.
Once enabled, when Williamson County EMA or local municipalities send a relevant message for the citizen’s location, a notification is triggered on the Alexa device via an alert tone and a yellow flashing light. The citizen then asks Alexa to play the notification.
In addition to Alexa units, Hyper-Reach delivers voice messages to landline and mobile phones, text messages, email, social media, web-browser push notification, smartphone apps, Internet-based advertising, RSS feeds, and many other methods. Citizens without an Alexa device can sign up to receive emergency alerts by texting “alerts” to 618-663-4676 and following prompts to register landlines, cell phones or email services.
“We’re thrilled to add AlertSmart to our Hyper-Reach toolbox,” said Kelly Norris, Williamson County’s EMA Director. “With AlertSmart, we’ve got one more way to get important information to the citizens of Williamson County fast and effectively.”
Williamson County EMA previously used “Nixle” for emergency alerts, but is changing service providers for this type of notification starting February 1, 2021.