BUCKHANNON – Members of the Upshur County community can stay informed about emergencies and other key events by signing up for the Nixle Alerts system.
Steve Wykoff, director of the Upshur County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, described the alerts system as a community notification system, which sends messages and alerts directly to the phones of people signed up for the service. Community members can text their zip code to 888777 from their mobile phone or go to www.upshurcounty.org and sign up via the Nixle Widget on the DSHEM page.
“The Nixle system is opt-in, which means community members must sign up for it, so if they’re interested in those types of alerts, they will have to sign up for that,” Wykoff said. “This is different than the integrated public advanced warning system the government uses; those are sent out, and you will get those as needed. Even if you don’t sign up for Nixle, you’ll get the big stuff, but we prefer you to sign up for Nixle because that will allow you to receive notifications on road closures, boil-water advisories and other things that don’t qualify as a major incident.”
Wykoff said they ask for zip codes to ensure person is receiving pertinent information for their area.
“We don’t give out your cell phone numbers and email addresses to anybody else; it’s all enclosed in our system, and there’s only a handful of people that have access to be able to send out those messages, so you’re not going to get overloaded with stuff that doesn’t apply,” Wykoff said. “The reason we asked for the zip codes is because we can target certain geographic areas as needed, so if there’s something that affects a certain zip code, then we can send a message just to French Creek, for example, or just to Rock Cave.”
Only about 6,800 people out of the 25,000 in Upshur County are currently signed up for Nixle.
“We’d like to see a lot more people get in on that service; that way, we can get information out to them in a timely fashion, as needed,” Wykoff said.
“We’ll probably schedule alerts to go out because we’re shutting down the road Monday for the car show during [the 2023 World Association of Marching Show Bands Championship] or that we’re shutting down the road Friday for the Music on Main Street event,” Wykoff said. “There’s a parade going on Saturday so people that are signed up for those Nixle alerts will see those as well.”
Road closures and changes during WAMSB July 17-24 include:
- Monday, July 17 — Main Street from Route 20 to South Florida Street, 4-10 p.m. for the Classic Car Show.
- Wednesday, July 19 through Sunday, July 23 – Various times and locations for Camden Avenue, Silverbells Lane, Randolph Street, Wood Street and Railroad Street.
- Thursday, July 20 – College Avenue from Meade Street to Sedgwick Street, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. for the Concert Band Adjudication at the W.Va. Wesleyan College Performing Arts Center.
- Friday, July 21 – Main Street from Route 20 to South Florida Street, 7 p.m.- midnight for the Music on Main event.
- Saturday, July 22 – The standard parade route and lineup area will be closed for the Parade of Nations starting at 10 a.m. in the lineup area and 11 a.m. along the parade route itself. The parade will line up on Camden and Pocahontas Streets. The parade will start on Marion Street, proceed to Kanawha Street, turn right onto Main Street and end at the intersection of East Main Street and College Avenue.