Council sends flood warnings via SMS

Council sends flood warnings via SMS

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Oxfordshire County Council is to send flood warnings to residents via text message.

The project forms part of the council's Emergency Planning procedures and is scheduled to go live this month.

Local authorities have been told by the Environment Agency to make better preparations for natural disasters following the damage done by last year's floods across the UK.

Excessive rainfall in July 2007 caused extensive flooding of the Cherwell and Isis/Thames rivers which traverse Oxfordshire.

Advance warning of a potential flood gives property owners the chance to prepare and take the necessary action to minimise damage.

"We reviewed the use of our existing system and decided to improve resilience by introducing the text platform," said John Kelly, county emergency planning officer at Oxfordshire County Council.

"We believe it is vital that we can give warning to the public and alert our staff though text messaging."

The council said that it has been using SMS since 2003, but has replaced its original systems with Text Message Server from network communications company Avanquest.