Here on the Grasshopper blog we talk a lot about the various ways you can use your voicemail. You can collect RSVPs, create a home-based business or use it as a time card system.

One thing we’ve never talked about is how to use it as an emergency alert system. Fortunately with all the storms as of late, other people have.

One example involves the small town of Godfrey, Illinois, who has decided that instead of using sirens to alert the village of threatening weather, they‘ll begin using Code Red, a voicemail system set up by the National Weather Service.

According to The Telegraph, the voicemail system will cost half of what it costs to install and maintain sirens and when threatening weather is nearby, they’ll simply call the residents’ designated numbers.

'After the terrible tornado in Joplin (Mo.), we thought it would be good to revisit the tornado siren issue again,' Mayor Mike McCormick explained.

Not a bad idea!

Other places are also using voicemail and phone calls as an emergency alert system. Georgia Tech has asked students to provide a mobile number so they can be reached via text or voicemail during an emergency. Butler has DawgAlert. There is even a service “WeatherCall” that will alert you if there is a storm warning in your area (they also offer a solution for businesses).

Phone calls and voicemail are a great way to let people know if something is happening. With the Grasshopper distribution list feature, you can easily implement this for your own business. Check it out!