Hurricane text alert system developed - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Hurricane text alert system developed

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WELLINGTON, FL (WFLX)--  Meteorologists are closely following every movement of Tropical Storm Chantal as it moves through the Tropics. But as South Florida has seen in the past, nature can change in an instant.

Wellington resident Andrew Beller was one of those people who were taken aback during a more recent weather even, Tropical Storm Isaac.

"We went from living in a beautiful home to basically living in our cars. Cooking our food on barbecues," said Beller.

He was out of power and would have been left completely in the dark about what was going on during Isaac had it not been for a few simple text messages his HOA was sending out throughout the neighborhood.

"You don't walk around with a radio in your hands. Everybody carries their cell phone," said Beller.

It is called My Community Alert, a Wellington-based company that allows HOAs, community managers and resident to send and receive alerts and bulletins. It can be anything from an approaching storm to a lost dog.

"You could describe it as a personal concierge service," said Shep Doniger, spokesperson for My Community Alert.

Doniger said the messages have a better chance of making into the hands of residents because texts need little cell signal and are small in size. He also points to who is in control of sending out alerts.

"When you're property manager controls the information, they're cutting away the fat, they're cutting away the information you don't need," said Doniger.

Beller said without the alert system he might have been one of the folks during Isaac who were caught off guard.

"It wouldn't make my life harder, but it definitely affects the quality of my life. It makes it easier for me," said Beller.

My Community Alert has not sent anything out in regards to Tropical Storm Chantal.

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