City’s B-Alert system makes it mark

The city’s new B-Alert advisory system, which made its debut with Spring Break, sent out nearly 28 advisories over the weekend and two Alert messages, one on Friday evening when the city launched its Spring Break traffic plan on U.S. 90 and another on Saturday when a tornado warning was issued.

The new service, powered by a firm called Nixle, which provides real-time alert services to more than 8,000 public service agencies throughout the country, gives the city the ability to transmit text messages, emails and voice messages to an unlimited number of subscribers on a moment’s notice.  The messages, unlike the city’s established Bmail service, are limited to 138 characters.

At the outset of Spring Break, the city sent a voice message to more than 13,000 landlines in Biloxi, calling more than once in most cases, to advise residents that the traffic plan had been implemented. Throughout the weekend, more than two dozen B-Alert messages were transmitted, primarily through text messages, advising as many as 4,700 subscribers about traffic conditions on U.S. 90.

The city also used the service to deliver video interviews with Biloxi Police Chief John Miller. The three short videos, on the city’s YouTube page, have more than a thousand views each.

On Saturday afternoon, moments after the city’s tornado sirens sounded, B-Alert notified residents and visitors that a tornado warning had been issued and to seek shelter. In all, the city transmitted more than 170,000 messages during the weekend, primarily as 138-character texts.

With Spring Break concluded, the city will now focus on growing its B-Alert audience for real-time traffic advisories and weather-related emergencies.  The service, which will have a growing number of uses for the city, also now allows subscribers to send anonymous tips to the Biloxi Police Department.


How to sign up

On your cell phone, text BILOXI to 888777. You will receive a follow-up message asking for your ZIP code in the event the city transmits a geo-targeted message.

If you decide at any time you don’t want to receive B-Alert messages, just reply with STOP. You can re-sign up at any time.
Learn more about Nixle, the firm that powers B-Alert
See the city’s lineup of B-Alert messages


News and notes: Council images

City Council:  The Biloxi City Council held its second meeting of the month on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. at the Biloxi City Hall.  To see images from the meeting, click here

Coffee Talk:The Biloxi Bay Area Chamber of Commerce held an installment of  its “Coffee Talk” this morning at 8 at City Hall with the Biloxi City Council.  The third meeting of the council featured ward updates from each of the attending council members.  To see images from the meeting, click here