COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – Things like street closures and boil alerts are important to inform the public. The city of Columbiana is adopting a new system to help get those messages to its residents.

The alert system has only been in effect for about a week.

With a computer or cell phone and a simple click, you can share important information with as many people as you need to. Now, the city of Columbiana is riding the digital wave for its residents.

“Whether it’s a pool closing or a road closure or a boil order, we’re going to be able to get that message out there,” said Lance Willard, manager of the city of Columbiana.

You can sign up for Columbiana’s EMA system on the city’s website. Willard says it takes about 15 to 20 seconds. By providing your phone number, you can get calls and texts. Plus, you can select which alerts you want to be notified for.

“We’re really hoping that we’ll be able to use it for large projects like the last stormwater project, where we can encourage everyone on this street to get the messages,” Willard said.

Willard says they can alert just the people it affects. Larger alerts can also be sent out.

City officials can help set it up if anyone is having issues.

“They’ll get a call to their landline or a text and you just have to select which one you want,” Willard said.

While it might be convenient for some Columbiana residents to get these EMA alert systems sent straight to their phone, there is one type of alert, as of right now, it will not include.

“Right now with the warnings and the tornado warnings and such like that. We’re talking more water breaks and electrical outages and such,” Willard said.

Willard says their last system had about 900 to 1,100 people signed up. They are hoping this new system brings people back.

“Communication is key and we think this is a good way to get ahold of a lot of people, but the key is to build it,” Willard said.