contributed…It is said that the best things in life are free. Unfortunately, “free” includes the bad as well as the good. Sunshine and blue skies can quickly turn into an ominous pea green and black storm cloud that could spawn a tornado. The National Weather Service has a reputation for vigilance in alerting the public of an impending storm event, but what do you do if you are away from your radio or TV? Is there a way an individual can be notified when a dangerous storm is approaching?

In March of 2009 NIXLE began as a Community Information Service that helps you stay connected to the information that matters most to you. You can receive trusted, immediate and geographically relevant information directly to you over your mobile phone or through e-mail.

Messages that you receive through NIXLE come directly from authenticated agencies or community organizations. In Juneau County this agency is the Sheriff Department’s Communications Center. The four types of messages provided by NIXLE are:

Alerts -emergency messages such as tornado warnings

Advisories -such as burning bans or weather watches

Community information -such as flu clinics sponsored by the county health department

Traffic -very localized traffic information such as road closures or detours

Michelle Lobenstein works as the Communications Supervisor for the Juneau County Sheriff. Lobenstein says that NIXLE messages are entered by her dispatchers directly to the NIXLE website, from where they go out to the phones or computers of subscribers.

Receiving these messages is easy and FREE. All you need to do is go to www.NIXLE.com and set up an account. To register, you need to set up a user name and password and provide your address or nearest cross-street. Then choose where you want to receive your information (e-mail or text message). Once registered, you can personalize your locations and preferences to suit your needs. Simple, and FREE. Note that if your cell phone plan does not include text messaging you will be assessed a small fee by the cell phone provider.

Juneau County has used the NIXLE system since spring of 2012. Storm warnings, road closures, burning bans -all transmitted to registrants’ e-mails and phones wherever they are. FREE.

This free is good.