In today's technology-oriented world, getting information out faster and to devices that people carry with them is becoming a preferred way to communicate emergency information.
Royersford Borough's Office of Emergency Management, managed by Officer Tom Godin, started using a service called Nixle a few months ago to send out text and e-mail alerts.
Nixle is completely free for subscribers. It also costs the borough nothing to use it, although Godin says they may explore some paid upgrade options in next year's budget if necessary.
All types of alerts can be sent via Nixle.
Godin has used Nixle recently to send out a road closure advisory for the Royersford Halloween parade and a pre-Hurricane Sandy warning notice.
"We wanted to get the information out," said Godin. "Especially in low-lying areas like 1st Avenue, we wanted to warn them to be prepared."
Godin said that sending out alerts like this hopefully helps people get ready for possible problems.
For example, if flooding is expected, Godin said, people who live in those areas should pack a bag and plan to have a place to go.
Godin will be using Nixle to get the word out as Hurricane Sandy approaches over the next few days.
"If necessary, we'll have info on evacuation routes and shelters," Godin said.
Residents can register for Nixle here. Once you sign up, you can search for Royersford and add as many contacts as necessary.
You can also watch the Royersford Borough Office of Emergency Management Facebook page for information.