>

Village Manager's Blog

Be the First to Know with Glencoe CONNECT

Kiraly_webBy Village Manager Phil Kiraly

While the boil order issued by the Village in June was precautionary – it proved to be valuable practice for Village staff, and hopefully many residents, on responding to a crisis-like scenario. Village staff has taken ample time to debrief, evaluating the technical aspects of the boil order and subsequent water quality testing, in addition to assessing the success of our outreach to the community.

In evaluating the outreach and communication process, the biggest take-away was the importance of having good contact information in our emergency callout system, Glencoe CONNECT. Glencoe CONNECT was used as a primary method of announcing the precautionary boil order and was later used to let the community know that the order was lifted. With relative simplicity, Village staff was able to send out details of the boil order, including sharing a link to more information on the website, via phone calls, e-mails and text messages – reaching over 3,800 contacts in a matter of seconds.  

While this is a fair number of contacts, nearly two-third of the contacts were populated with landline phone numbers provided to the Public Safety Department by telephone companies. With the rise in use of cell phones, however, we know that these landline numbers may not reflect the best way to contact individuals and in many cases, homes no longer use a landline. Furthermore, many telephone companies are looking to abandon landline systems in favor of more modern technology.

This underscores the importance of residents opting-in to Glencoe CONNECT and creating an account in order to keep your contact information current. We strongly suggest providing any cell phone number used in your household and encourage you to sign up for text messages and e-mails. Depending on the urgency of the message the Village is sending, we can opt to use all or just some of the contact methods.

Our analytics show that over 400 updates were made to Glencoe CONNECT accounts in the days following the boil order issuance, including over 250 new contacts. While we are glad to have so many new users and updated contact information – the time to register or to update information isn’t during or after an emergency – it’s before. Please help the Village keep you apprised of important information by registering and keeping your account current.

In addition to urgent messages, the Village will continue to use Glencoe CONNECT to communicate road closures, construction updates, mosquito abatement efforts and more. To register now, or to update an existing account, visit this page.

During the precautionary boil order, in addition to the use of Glencoe CONNECT, the Village also extensively used social media, including Facebook, NextDoor and Twitter to communicate information in an effort to blanket the community with information. Social media is never intended to be the initial or primary communication point in an emergency, but we understand that many of our residents use it extensively and often reference it.  We encourage you to refer to the Village’s social media pages as well when seeking information.  Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and register on NextDoor to stay in touch.   

Are you unsure whether you are registered for Glencoe CONNECT or how this system differs from others, such as emergency weather alerts? Questions about Glencoe CONNECT may be directed to Megan Hoffman, Management Analyst, at mhoffman@villageofglencoe.org or (847) 461-1104.