I'm working on a project with a friend who owns a weather company. The goal is to mount a siren on the top or side of a school building that can be reached via internet to sound the siren when lightning strikes within X miles of the school (think for sporting events).
I've never done an Arduino project before, but I'm a Sr. Backend Web dev and have also done a few low-requirements real world hacking projects (wiring LEDs, working with Phidgets, etc).
What I'm thinking so far is an Arduino with ethernet and a SPST switch attached to the siren. I'll write a web-service to do all the heavy lifting, I'll basically just want the Arduino to ping a given URL with a payload (UUID, essentially) every X seconds. If a "1" is returned the switch should close and sound the siren, if not, nothing happens.
I'm looking for a little guidance from y'all as to whether or not this sounds like a reasonable approach.
My one concern is getting the Arduino to access the internet. I'm not sure what different schools' networks will be like. What's the easiest way to find the Arduino and ensure it can get out to the net?