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Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) Upgrades Regional Notification System

AUSTIN, TEXAS – The Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) is upgrading the regional notification system that powers WarnCentralTexas.org to bring residents emergency and public safety warnings they need to protect their families, properties and selves. As part of the upgrade, CAPCOG recommends that previously self-registered participants update their notification information by using the link inside an email sent through the new Everbridge system.

Current self-registered participants should have received an email from Warn Central Texas using either a noreply@everbridge.net, noreply@everbridge.com or noreply@everbridgemail.com email address. Following the link inside the email will give them access to a user account portal that lets them update multiple voice and text phone numbers as well as email addresses and physical addresses. They can also opt-in to receive particular national weather alerts, such as severe thunderstorm warnings, tornado warnings, and flashflood warnings. After updating their notification information, the portal grants them access to make future updates and read active notifications in their area sent by their local governments.

WarnCentralTexas.org is a free public service provided by CAPCOG in conjunction with the region’s cities and counties for individuals living, working or visiting Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis, and Williamson counties. Using this system, emergency responders can send hyper-local, targeted messages to people in specific neighborhoods or streets. Local governments communicate primarily in English, and make every effort where possible to also send critical alerts in Spanish. The notification information is strictly used by local governments to send emergency warnings and opted-in messages.

If a resident receives multiple emails from the system requesting they update their information, it is extremely important they do so using the link in the email. Updating their information will ensure its accuracy letting them continue to receive emergency warnings for their current address and preventing them from receiving the same notification multiple times.
Residents who haven’t registered to receive emergency warnings at WarnCentralTexas.org should do so. It is important to note newer cellphone models receive federal notifications, such as Amber Alerts. WarnCentralTexas.org is a separate system and a critical tool for local first responders to reach the affected public during an emergency. All jurisdictions in the ten-county region can use the system to share critical emergency information events, such as:

  • Evacuations from floods and wildfires
  • Shelter-in-place information during law enforcement incidents
  • Public health and medical emergency messages

About the regional notification system: CAPCOG uses a regional notification system (RNS), WarnCentralTexas.org, as a crucial public-safety tool. The Web-based tool is used by Central Texas governments to alert the public to emergency and optional non-emergency situations. It’s an effective tool for notifying a relatively large number of people in a short period of time. Its current vendor for the RNS is Everbridge. CAPCOG and Everbridge will not distribute any information provided by residents.

About CAPCOG: The Capital Area Council of Governments, governed by elected officials from the ten-county region it serves, has worked for more than 45 years as an advocate, planner and coordinator on important regional issues. Programs and services related to public safety and emergency response, environmental planning, economic and community development and the elderly are delivered at a regional level to leverage funding, maximize cooperation and eliminate duplication. CAPCOG serves Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis and Williamson counties.

Elections Administrator Reminds Straight-Party Voters to be aware of ‘Down Ballot’ Items not covered by a Single Click

Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – Hays County Elections Administrator Jennifer Anderson is reminding voters that if they are planning to vote a straight-party ballot in the November election to make sure there are no “down-ballot” elections or issues they want to vote on that are not covered by a straight-party choice.

Straight-party voting only applies to candidates in federal, state, and county-level races. It does not include propositions, bond issues, city council, school board, Austin Community College, and other types of ballot items that are farther down the ballot.

A straight-party vote will choose candidates from that party in races where a candidate from that party is running. If there is no candidate from that party in a particular race, the voter can go to that item and select a different party candidate.

Anderson said, “I encourage all voters who choose a straight-party ticket to scroll down and ensure that there are no other elections they’d like to vote in before they submit their ballots.”

October 9 is the last day to register to vote. Early voting for the November 6 election runs from October 22 to November 2. During early voting, voters in Hays County can vote at any polling place that is convenient to them. On Election Day, November 6, voters must vote at their precinct polling place. October 26 is the last day to apply for a ballot by mail (the application must be received by October 26).

Complete election information is on the County website here.

Cotton Gin Reopens

After much anticipation, the hole on Cotton Gin has been repaired and the road is open again.

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Stay Informed with WarnCentralTexas.org

As seen during Hurricane Harvey, natural disasters and other life changing emergencies can happen very quickly, and it’s important to have as much information available, as quickly as possible, to make decisions to keep you, your family and the community safe.

This September, in observance of National Preparedness Month, we are asking all employees to take an active step toward contributing to a disaster ready regional community. Please sign up to get emergency and evacuation alerts in your neighborhood, directly from your local first responders, by phone, text or email. Simply sign up at WarnCentralTexas.org.

The link will take you to the Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) regional notification system registration, a service of Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis, and Williamson Counties. Using this system, emergency responders in your neighborhood can send hyper-local messages to you neighborhood, street or block.

Additionally, here are links to posters that can be printed and displayed in prominent areas of your departments. Spanish version here.

I encourage each department to display this information in high-traffic areas of your facility(s) and workspaces, both in areas intended for public and non-public (employee only) use.

All jurisdictions in the 10-county region can use the system to share critical emergency information with residents for events, such as:

  • Homes evacuations from floods, wildfires or public health threats
  • Shelter-in-place information during a law enforcement or public health incident
  • Boil water notices or prolonged power outages
  • Options to receive general, non-emergency community messages

It is important to note that newer model cell phones all receive notification from the federal government, such as Amber Alerts. WarnCentralTexas.org is a separate system, and critical tool for local first responders to reach you during an emergency.

While you’re in the system, consider registering your spouse or other family members. Additionally, we encourage you to share this link with neighbors, friends, and colleagues so they can be warned about emergencies.

Thank you in advance for participating in an effort to ensure our Central Texas community is informed and prepared to survive and recover from any emergency event.

Kharley Bagley Smith
Director
Hays County Emergency Services