Fredonia urges residents to use NY-Alert

Those wanting to stay informed when it comes to local emergencies can do so through the free notification system known as NY-Alert.

In Fredonia, complaints rose over the fact that some residents were never notified of a boil water order following a water main break last fall. Discussions followed in January over ways to better inform the public, and village officials found that use of NY-Alert among residents would best keep residents in the loop.

NY-Alert allows state, county and local agencies to provide information and private notifications to a defined audience. The alert system is free to residents who can register to receive info by visiting

Chris Wichlacz is Chautauqua County’s administrator for NY-Alert. He told trustees during a recent meeting that the county can send residents text messages as well as messages to landlines regarding emergencies in their area.

“If you need an alert for the village of Fredonia, I can send it to the entire village. Or I can block out individual streets and have an alert sent to those addresses,” he said.

Those wanting to receive text message alerts must sign up online, Wichlacz said. If it ever came down to a major incident, Wichlacz said he has the capability of tapping cell phones in the affected area.

Residents who sign up for NY-Alert can customize what emergency notifications they want to receive from Amber alerts to weather and traffic issues.

“It’s very customizable,” Wichlacz said.

Those with mobile devices can use a new application known as iAlertz to receive emergency information quick and easy. By signing up for the free app, individuals can get real-time alerts based on their location or saved bookmarks such as weather, traffic, security and more.

“Everybody tells me it’s really good,” Wichlacz said.

When signing up for NY-ALERT, people will be able to select the time of day they desire to receive alerts and the locations from which they want to receive the information.

Those who do not have access to the worldwide web can still sign up for NY-Alert by calling 1-888-697-6972. Fredonia Mayor Athanasia Landis said she encourages everyone to sign up.

“If anything happens, it’s one way to reach them,” she said. “The more people who are signing up the better.”