Ah, NIXLE. Amidst the vast sea of cell phone features, you are one of my most treasured. Not because you’re cute or clever or fun or the latest fad. But because you’re flat-out useful.

For those of you not yet initiated into the NIXLE world, it’s a means for government agencies—the ones you really want to hear from—to send you alerts about events that truly mean something to you. Examples:

  • Route 1 South is completely closed at Route 130 because of an accident
  • Harrison Street will be closed for paving on Friday
  • Route 27 in Kingston will be backed up between 6:00 and 8:00 due to temple activity

Not all NIXLE alerts are traffic-related:

  • Black bear spotted in Princeton along Mt. Lucas Road
  • Autistic teenager missing in South Brunswick
  • All North Brunswick schools and government offices closed after snowstorm

You can see how such alerts can be lifesavers, especially if you’re planning to drive somewhere or have plans for the day. I became a huge fan of NIXLE after Hurricane Sandy, when the Powers That Be notified us which gas stations were open during the massive power outage. They also informed us that pretty much every road in Griggstown was closed due to downed trees and power lines.

NIXLE is a free service and can be tailored to your area. Work and play in South Brunswick only? Then get just those alerts. Drive to Monroe for work? Add Plainsboro, West Windsor and East Windsor alerts to your list. Once you’ve set yourself up, everything is automatic: emergency notifications are pushed to your phone, alerting you to events that may affect you.

I am in no way affiliated with NIXLE, in case you’re wondering. I just believe in sharing great information, and this is about as great as it gets. For more details and to sign up for alerts, visit nixle.com. You won’t regret it.

By the way, sign up for West Windsor even if you don’t necessarily pass through there much. Lt. Garofalo’s alerts at times are an absolute hoot to read, and that alone is worth the (nonexistent) price of admission.

Bo Twerdowsky

Real estate agent, self-professed computer geek, grammar policeman, proud father of two. Opinionated, questioning, intolerant of stuffy sorts devoid of a sense of humor.