Get alerted about emergencies and other important community news by signing up for the Delco Alert System. Snow Level Alerts are a separate alert system that you sign up for by texting DELCOSNOW to 888777.
These two systems enable us to provide you with critical information quickly in a variety of situations, evacuation notices, gas leaks, police activity and more.
FAQs: Delco Alerts
1) What are Delco Alerts?
Delco Alerts is an emergency alert system that allows you to opt in to receive notifications via phone calls, text messages and/or emails based on the locations (addresses) you enter into the system.
Please note that there are some portions of Westerville, Columbus and Dublin that are located in Delaware County but receive their 9-1-1 service from those cities. Addresses in those portions of the county would not be able to sign up for Delco Alerts.
The system has been created by a company called Everbridge. Delaware County’s Emergency Communications Department has contracted with Everbridge since May 2017 to provide this service. It is funded by Delaware County’s sales tax and costs about $25,000 per year.
2) How do I sign up for Delco Alerts?
Go to https://emergencycomms.co.delaware.oh.us/delco-alerts/, click on the Sign Up button and follow the prompts from there.
3) What kinds of notifications can I receive?
There are two categories of notifications listed under “My Subscriptions” in your account profile. You can select (and unselect) any of the options in these categories.
The first one is for General Notifications and these include:
- Shelter in Place/Evacuation
- Missing persons
- Other Emergency Notifications
Then there is a category for Weather and there are nine of these:
- High Wind Warning
- Flash Flood Warning
- Blizzard Warning
- Freezing Rain Warning
- Winter Storm Warning
- Severe Thunderstorm Warning
- Severe Thunderstorm Watch
- Tornado Warning
- Tornado Watch
4) How is a notification issued?
Any of the General Notifications are generated locally by the Delaware County 9-1-1 Center personnel or Sheriff’s Office personnel. They can be used for any nature of police, fire or EMS event. Staff is notified, most often by the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, about an emergency event and a staff member logs into the Everbridge system, types in a message and then sends it out.
The Weather notifications (except for the Snow Level Alerts) are sent out automatically when the National Weather Service issues a weather watch or warning (remember: a “watch” means that conditions are ripe for a particular type of weather event to happen, and a “warning” means that this event is happening now). These notifications are based on locations called “polygons.” Polygons are small, well-defined geographic areas. Because the National Weather Service methodology is so precise, it can issue a watch or warning for only those polygons that are affected. If your address is in an affected polygon, you will receive a Delco Alert for it.
5) I don’t live in Delaware County, but I have an elderly relative who does and I’d like to stay on top of emergency warnings for where she lives. Can I?
Yes. Anyone anywhere can create an account on our system and you can also enter multiple addresses to receive notifications for (for example, your home, your workplace, your children’s school). However, there are some portions of Westerville, Columbus and Dublin that are located in Delaware County but receive their 9-1-1 service from those cities. Addresses in those portions of the county would not be able to sign up for Delco Alerts.
6) I can hear an outdoor tornado warning siren going off, but I haven’t received anything from Delco Alerts! Is something broken?
The Weather notifications, which are generated automatically by the National Weather Service, are based on locations called “polygons.” These are small, well-defined geographic areas. Because the National Weather Service methodology is so precise, it can issue a watch or warning for only those polygons that are affected. If your address is in an affected polygon, you will receive a Delco Alert for it.
There are 16 outdoor warning sirens in Delaware County that can be activated by the Delaware County 9-1-1 Center’s staff. They will all be activated if a tornado warning (but NOT a watch) is issued for any location in the county. It is therefore possible that you might hear a siren but not receive a Delco Alert because your address is not in an affected polygon.
Please note that the decision to build an outdoor warning siren rests with local jurisdictions (cities, villages and townships). Many communities, including the city of Powell, do not have any outdoor warning sirens, though residents in those communities might sometimes hear sirens from across the Franklin County border.
8) How can I stop receiving some but not all notifications?
Log into your account profile and click on the Edit link next to My Subscriptions.
9) How can I stop receiving all notifications?
Log into your account profile and remove all of your contact information (address, text, email and/or phone).
FAQs: Snow Level Alerts
1) What are Snow Level Alerts?
Snow Level Alerts are another type of emergency alert system strictly for notifying the public via text when the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office issues a declaration, modification or cancellation of a Snow Level. This system utilizes a program called Nixel Channels and it is also administered by Everbridge. It costs about $5,000 per year.
2) What exactly are Snow Levels?
A Snow Emergency Level is a declaration by a county sheriff’s office that reflects the fact that severe weather conditions exist but is focused more on driving conditions and whether or not it’s safe to be out driving on the roadways in a county. It is NOT the same as a watch or warning about weather conditions: Those are issued by the National Weather Service.
In Ohio, these are the Ohio Revised Code definitions for the three levels of snow emergencies:
- Level 1: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be icy. Motorists are urged to drive very cautiously.
- Level 2: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be very icy. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roads. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work. Motorists should use extreme caution.
- Level 3: All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be driving during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel or a personal emergency exists. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roads may subject themselves to arrest.
3) How do I sign up to receive Snow Level Alerts?
Text DELCOSNOW to 888777. You will receive an acknowledgement text back that indicates you are signed up to receive all future Snow Level Alerts.
4) What kind of notification can I receive?
This system only generates texts. It does not generate emails or phone calls.
5) How is a notification issued?
When the Sheriff’s Office makes the decision to issue, modify or cancel a snow emergency level, the information will be entered into a program. That program then sends texts to all phone numbers that have opted in to receive these texts.
6) I don’t live in Delaware County, but I have an elderly relative who does and I’d like to stay on top of emergency warnings for where she lives. Can I sign up to receive Snow Level Alerts for Delaware County?
Yes. Any phone number in the U.S. (including Alaska and Hawaii) can sign up to receive Snow Level Alerts for Delaware County by texting DELCOSNOW to 888777. Phone numbers outside the U.S. cannot.
8) How do I stop receiving Snow Level Alerts for Delaware County?
Text STOP to 888777.
Note: Code Red is no longer being used by Delaware County. In order to get emergency alerts, you will have to sign up for the new system here.