Frederick County launches text alert service for use at large events


The text will include notice of severe weather, other emergency notifications

FREDERICK, Md (WDVM) — In the event of an emergency at a Frederick County, Maryland event, visitors will have a new way of being notified.

The county, in partnership with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, is launching a new text service that will send a message to the phones of all visitors at big events, like the Great Frederick Fair, who opt-in to the service.

Notices, like severe weather alerts, and other emergencies will be sent automatically and could include exit instructions and maps of the area.

Officials say the text service is a low commitment and location specific-alternative to the county-wide Alert Frederick County notification program.

“We’re piloting it at the Great Frederick Fair. It’s one of our bigger events in Frederick County and we get a lot of visitors. A lot of people from out of town, various areas of the county, so this kind of gives us a way to capture an audience that we wouldn’t normally be able to get a hold of in an emergency,” explained Rebekah May with the Frederick County Division of Emergency Management.

May says the text service currently has about 300 subscribers. As of Monday, the service has no sent out any notifications.

Residents and visitors can text the keyword GFFair to 888777 to receive emergency and severe weather messages.

When the fair ends, those who signed up will automatically be unsubscribed.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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