When Mother Nature strikes, Sioux Falls has a standard snow alert communication procedure.
"We have about 6,500 people signed up for email alerts. The texts just got launched this last year," Public Works Director Mark Cotter said.
They utilize social media and your smart phone to get the word out. More than 2,500 residents receive the text message snow alerts.
"We have a strong local vender that was able to set us up for a low cost solution that we can get people to sign up for text alerts and ultimately we have Facebook and Twitter and some of those other tool to ultimately just time and reach more people," Cotter said.
Neighboring cities are also seeing the benefit when comes to snow alerts and updates through social media.
"No matter what the size of the city getting that information to our residents is important no matter what. We have about 5,000 residents in Harrisburg and it's hard to keep in contact with all of them. Facebook actually turns out to be one of our most effective ways," Harrisburg City Administrator Andrew Pietrus said.
Important updates and alerts make dealing with Mother Nature a lot easier during a snow emergency.
"Our ordinance speaks to declaring a snow emergency and if there's more than two inches and really what that does is gives our residents a heads up to get their cars off the road, so we can plow from curb to curb," Pietrus said.
"The last thing we want is to have people ticketed or towed. We want to give plenty of notice so we can go out there and plow curb to curb and then they can go out there and return their car to those locations," Cotter said.
If you're interested in subscribing to the new snow alert system for your smart phone, it's very simple. All you have to do is text the word "snow” to (605)413-1990.