In the next few months, Cuyahoga County plans to set up what's known as a "reverse 9-1-1 system."
During emergencies, the county will be able to update residents with automated phone calls, text messages or emails.
County Executive Ed FitzGerald said in a news conference today that the system would have aided county emergency efforts during last year's severe storm.
"During Superstorm Sandy," he said, "we could have used a reverse-9-1-1 system to encourage them to stay indoors and provide them with emergency information when the power went out."
Residents will have to enter their phone numbers or email addresses at the county's website for updates. FitzGerald says cities throughout the county can sign up to use the service for local emergency notices.