SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- San Luis Obispo County's emergency information website ReadySLO.org has only been online for eight months, but has quickly become an instrumental resource for residents over the past few weeks.
"It was a long time goal of the County's Office of Emergency Services to have this asset for the county," said San Luis Obispo County Emergency Services Coordinator Anita Konopa. "It worked out very well that it happened to come online just in time for this huge incident."
The website contains three main sections, all brightly color-coded on the homepage: Plan, Current Emergency Information, Recover.
Right now, the Current Emergency Section is where thousands of hits are coming to each day, as people look for a wide variety of important information that is listed there, about COVID-19 statistics, food delivery service, press releases, shelter at home details, essential businesses, and much more.
San Luis Obispo County Administrative Officer and Emergency Services Director Wade Horton said that having the still relatively new website in operation has been a huge win for county residents.
"We were anticipating a fire and earthquake event," said Horton. "I don’t think anyone anticipated a pandemic to be affecting the whole world at the same time. It’s been a great tool. It allows us to communicate real time with our community, and that’s important for us as a county to make sure that our community members are informed."
Previously, emergency information was published on the SLO County government website.
"The reason why the county moved to ReadySLO.org is it you can accommodate hundreds of thousands of hits without the system crashing." Horton said. "That was important for us in case we had an emergency."
A look at the analytics shows just how fortunate the County is to have switched over to the new website.
"Prior to COVID-19 occurring we were getting a couple hits a day," said Konopa. "In the last three weeks since we activated the County’s Emergency Operations Center, we’re getting thousands of hits a day and I’ve gotten more than 450,000 hits on the website three weeks ago."
Konopa said the most viewed page is one in particular that is updated daily at about 1 p.m.
"Our most popular page is the positive statistics page that details out where our positive cases are, what communities there, and what age groups they’re in," said Konopa.
The information is constantly being updated, while the website itself is also being improved.
Konopa said the County receives a large amount of public feedback, which it encourages, since they are trying to make the site as user-friendly as possible.
"Our goal is to make it as easy as possible, as clear as possible with as few words as possible, leading people directly to the information they need, and the details, and how to find those," said Konopa. "If anyone has any feedback for our website, just let us know. We spend a lot of hours on the website trying to make it better, so we appreciate, both the positive comments and the constructive criticism of what they need."
To visit ReadySLO.org, click here.