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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, February 08, 2018 12:04 pm

Verbatim: IN.gov adds to States Amazon Alexa Skill, Ask Indiana

The following was released on Thurs. Feb. 8, 2018 by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security:

(INDIANAPOLIS) IN.gov, announced today that it has released an update to the State of Indiana's Amazon Alexa skill allowing citizens to check on county-level travel statuses. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security compiles travel statuses through each county's emergency management agency.

To search for travel advisories, say "Alexa, ask Indiana for travel advisories". Alexa will ask for which county users are searching for. Users can initially ask for the status of a specific county when making the request.

Travel statuses are, in order of least to most severe, normal, advisory, watch and warning. Most often advisories are updated when localities are experiencing winter weather conditions. The full travel status map and descriptions of the warnings can be found at http://www.in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory/.

*Access to information is a key component of preparedness, said Bryan Langley, Executive Director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. This important step will allow Hoosiers yet another way to rapidly access information and make informed decisions to keep themselves and their family safe.*

In addition to Travel Advisory, citizens can use Alexa to find contact information for state employees and information about state agencies all by saying, Ask Indiana. To enable the skill on an Amazon Alexa device, simply say Alexa, add the State of Indiana skill, go to https://www.amazon.com/Indiana-Interactive-LLC-IN-GOV/dp/B072PSTW7S or search for the State of Indiana in the Amazon Alexa mobile app.

Amazon Alexa devices are gaining in popularity. As of August 2017, 13.5% of US consumers surveyed by investment firm Cowen & Co. said they had an Amazon Echo. Though any person with a smartphone can download the Amazon Alexa app and access the voice service at no cost.

Indiana, with a burgeoning technology sector, has a state digital presence to match. In 2017, Indiana was named by the Center for Digital Government as having the second-best overall digital experience among all states. Overall, IN.gov has been recognized with more than 60 awards in the past three years. In the last year, IN.gov has received more than 64 million visits and 202 million page views; while providing more than 500 online services for citizens and businesses.