Cypress County and the Town of Redcliff switch their disaster notification system

By Taylor Chartrand
January 4, 2019 - 5:32pm Updated: January 4, 2019 - 9:26pm

 

Redcliff, AB - The Town of Redcliff and Cypress County will no longer use 'Notify Me Now' for public alerts in the wake of a disaster or emergency.

Instead, the County and Town have decided to use a new system.

Here to explain the switch is Deputy Director of Emergency Management, Charity Schweitzer from the Town of Redcliff.

"The City of Medicine Hat, the Town of Redcliff and Cypress County are part of a regional partnership," explained Schweitzer. "The City is no longer paying for Notify Me Now and we as a region have agreed to that."

And that is where Alert Redy and Alberta Emergency Alert come into play.

"Alert Ready has been set up by the government and it's actually a far more effective tool. Notify Me Now overwhelmed our infrastructure and it didn't get notifications out as fast as we had hoped. We found that we now have a better way of reaching the public."

And when disaster strikes, getting information out to the public in a timely manner is key.

"The same notifications are going to come one way or another. If you sign up for Alberta Emergency Alert, you're going to get the added benefit of non-critical alerts and updates. Critical alert and updates are sent out automatically, that's what Alert Ready does. So, downloading the app will give the public a bit more information." 

In addition to what the app can do, Alberta Emergency Alert will also interrupt T.V and radio airwaves.

Alert Ready will only go out to those with LTE and internet service.

Now, if you don't have a cellphone or internet service, fear not!

"We will use several different tactics to reach people. If we have an evacuation, it'll be door-to-door. We could use phone numbers we have on hand as well. Some people don't want to use the app and that's alright. We will still do everything the old fashioned way." 

Schweitzer says the Town will also post disaster alerts on social-media (Facebook and Twitter), as well as the Town of Redcliff website.

If you live within the area, Schweitzer recommends you sign up for the Alberta Emergency App as soon as possible. 

"It will give you the most information and hopefully help you in a worst-case scenario."

To finish the conversation, Schweitzer had this to say:

"We always like to remind the public that we hope they're prepared for a disaster.  Have a personal go-kit, remember your medications, important documents, and things for your pets. Have an evacuation plan to keep you and your family safe."
 

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