Keep Your Family Safe with NY Alert

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column

Did you ever want someone to let you know if a major storm or disaster threatened your family?

Ever felt like someone ought to tell you if a child turns up missing and an Amber alert is issued.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could see the same warnings that are sent to your community’s emergency agencies?

You can have advance warnings sent to you as text messages, emails and even phone calls to advise you of serious hazards that can threaten your family’s safety and your home or property.

It’s called the NY-Alert system, a free, early warning system that you can use to keep your home, family, business and community safe.

Last spring, after I toured some of the properties hit by flooding in southern Jefferson county, I worked with officials at NY-Alert, part of the state’s Emergency Management Office, to expand the kind of warnings available for homeowners and businesses on the Black River.

But NY-Alert offers a lot more than just flood warnings. They work closely with local law enforcement and other agencies to deliver a broad range of emergency messages—from “Amber” alerts involving missing children and the elderly, to school closings and serious accidents, and information about sex offenders in your community.

You select the type of warnings you want to receive, and how you want them delivered, by text, email or phone call.

With winter—and the inevitable severe weather—just around the corner, it’s the right time to consider this added level of protection for you and your family.

I encourage you to sign up for NY-Alert now, by clicking the link on my website at

Having the information you need before an emergency can make a difference. I hope that you will consider signing up for NY-Alert today.

For more information on ways to “be prepared” for an emergency, you can also visit