Calcasieu Parish's text message notification service -- CalcaShout -- got some upgrades last week -- and they're still free. However, if you've already signed up, you'll need to create a new account to make sure you keep getting your notifications.

In addition to sending you alerts on hurricane weather, flood, and fire warnings, you can also use the system's SNAP (Special Needs Assistance Program) to help notify authorities. SNAP is for those with disabilities or who may be bedridden and who would need assistance in an emergency situation, such as a hurricane evacuation.

CalcaShout also works with the Nixle service to help send traffic updates to your smartphone. By texting 888777, you will sign up your phone for free. While the text messages are free, standard texting rules still apply, depending on your provider.

You can also choose to not receive messages during sleeping hours. You can set a start and end time each day in which CalcaShout will not contact you -- keeping you from being awakened, if you choose.

You can choose alerts for hurricanes, wind, winter weather, flooding, fire conditions and more.

If you need more information, call (337) 721-3800, email to or visit the FAQ page at the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury's website.