Customer Spotlight: Washington County, Ohio

Washington County, Ohio has an approximate population of 62,000 in an area of 640 square miles. The Washington County Emergency Management Agency uses the Rapid Notify system to call out Police, Fire, EMS, and Industrial emergency response personnel. In addition, the system will be used for flood level call outs for the area, including the city of Marietta.

With the county bordered to the south and east by the Ohio River, residents are sometimes at risk of flooding. Earlier this spring, 21 Ohio counties were included in a federal disaster declaration as a result of severe storms.

Washington County recently completed installation of a flood warning system that includes three U.S. Geological Survey stream gauges installed in Duck Creek through Noble and Washington counties. The gauges collect data on rainfall, water level and stream flow, and transmit that information via satellite to the National Weather Service, which collects the data and makes it available to the public online.

“Local emergency management officials can directly monitor the gauges to keep tabs on water levels and warn residents of potential flood threats through a Rapid Notify call-down system, according to Jeff Lauer with the Washington County Emergency Management Agency.”

Washington County plans to implement the Rapid Notify online self-registration portal to allow area residents to opt-in and choose from multiple methods of communication. Residents will soon be able to sign up to receive emergency alert notifications via landline or cellular telephone, SMS text message, and e-mail. Alerts can be targeted to specific neighborhoods or communities in the event of a flash flood using Rapid Notify’s GIS Mapping capability.

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