Automated Alerts for PEI School Storm Closures

Thanks in part to the efforts of the English Language School Board, it’s now possible to receive automated alerts about winter storm school closures on Prince Edward Island, alerts that look like this:

Pushover Alert about Storm Closure

You have to hand-stitch together some parts to make this work, but it’s not all that difficult.

The bedrock of this system is that when the school board announces a storm closure on its website, they tag it with the category “closures” (meaning that if, for some reason, they don’t do that, then this whole alert system falls apart).  There’s an archive of “closures” posts on the board’s website, but it appears they remove most closure posts after the fact, so it’s not really a complete archive.

What I’ve done is to create a recipe in IFTTT (which you can use right now with a free IFTTT account) that looks for new blog posts with this tag, and if one is found it sends an urgent alert to the Pushover app running on my phone. That’s what you see in the screen shot above (what you don’t see is the screeching siren that also goes off when this happens, which is the important part as I’m generally asleep when this happens; note the 6:40 a.m. time on the alert in the screen shot).

While I’m using Pushover to receive my alerts, any of the various “…then that” services, from sending a text message to turning on the lights in your garage, could be the conclusion of this recipe.

If you find this useful, I would encourage you to send a laudatory message to the board thanking them for sending alerts to their blog, and encouraging them to continue to do so.