2020 is here! As an optometrist, 20/20 has been a part of my professional vocabulary since I began practicing in 1979.   20/20 is a term that signifies clear and precise vision.

The City of Warsaw is starting the year 2020 by launching a new alert service, Civic Ready, that will allow us to pass along important information in a very clear, precise and timely manner to our community.

Civic Ready is a mass notification system. It allows the city to directly send out critical emergency information notifications to every citizen who signs up. It can reach up to 72,000 people in less than a minute!

When you sign up, you will be able to choose how you wish to be notified. You can choose text messaging, email and/or voice calls on mobile or landline phones.  You can also choose the things you want to be notified of and those you don’t.

Simply go to warsaw.in.gov/alerts to register. If you don’t have a computer or smart device and require assistance with this process, call 574-372-9595. We will take your information and sign you up for traditional telephone voice notification alerts.

What types of notifications will I receive and how will this help me? The moment the National Weather Service releases a warning or watch for our area, we will instantaneously send you notification of that!  Minutes can save lives with severe weather. Other alerts can also be sent to those who may be directly affected by other emergencies such as a gas leak or chemical spill for example.  

Less critical, but also important, we can alert you of a change in your trash pickup day when holidays or extreme weather necessitate a change from your regular pickup. We can advise you of road closure notices when construction projects occur. Warsaw Police Department press releases, Wastewater Utility notices, and last-minute weather related changes to Warsaw Park and Recreation Department concerts and events are also available notifications for you to choose!

You must sign up to be included. Please take a few moments and sign up right now!

Civic Ready is another in the long list of tools we have rolled out to provide timely, transparent access to information for our citizens. Among those tools, our city website, www.warsaw.in.gov, is a central source of information and reference online.  Our website also has a live stream link (www.warsaw.in.gov/wartchcitymeetings) to view every public board meeting from your own device either in real time or at a later, more convenient time through our index of archived streaming selections. Activity on our Facebook Page “City of Warsaw, IN” has grown significantly and is also a great source of up-to-the-minute information.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have suggestions or need assistance as we set up Civic Ready.

I have one final unrelated item before I close.

On behalf of our community, I want to take time to thank Gary Gerard for the very important role he has played in our community for the past several decades. Gary will be starting a new chapter in his life, but I wanted to thank him for his thoughtful contributions to the public discourse and professionalism as general manager of the Times-Union.