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Emergency Alert System to be Tested June 21

image by Ricardo Gomez Angel, via Unsplash

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary will test its new emergency alerting system at 10:30 a.m. on June 21, 2019. Anyone registered will receive a test message via mobile cell phone app, SMS text message, voice message over cell or landline, or by email depending upon how the registrant has chosen to be notified when signing up.

This test is the final stage of commissioning the system for operational use and will allow the RDKB to gauge message transmission times across the region. After testing, the system will be ready for the RDKB Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to communicate evacuation information about floods, wildfires or other emergencies in the region directly to residents and visitors.

“With this test we look forward to the final stage of system setup and are encouraging all residents to register in advance of the test and the wildfire season” said Mark Stephens, Interim Emergency Program Manager at the RDKB.

The RDKB emergency alerting system allows EOC staff to provide critical life-safety information quickly to anyone registered. They will receive information such as the distance and direction from an incident, and preferred evacuation routes from locations the subscriber chooses. The service also allows registrants to create and set multiple locations such as “Kids’ School” or “Mom’s House.” Communication about life-safety events related to those locations is then sent to registrants through the Voyent Alert! smartphone app or other communication method they select in the system. The system’s smart alerting capabilities ensure that registrants will only receive notifications when information is relevant to them or to one of the locations they have set when they register.

Registration for the service is free, straightforward and anonymous. Residents can cancel their registration or change their settings at any time. The RDKB will also continue to use hand-delivered paper notifications for evacuation orders.

Mobile app users can download and install the Voyent Alert! app from the Apple App or Google Play stores. Email, SMS or voice dial users can register online to receive email, voice or text-based alerts at https://emergency.rdkb.com/

"Communication during emergencies is critical, and in this case we've put a platform in place but we need people to sign up in order for it to help you. I really encourage everyone who is already signed up to talk to their family, friends and neighbours about the RDKB emergency alerting system and promote registering before the June 21 test. The more ways local government has to communicate with residents before and during emergencies, the better off we all are. Please sign up!” said RDKB Board Chair, Roly Russell.

The emergency alerting system is another way for people to prepare for emergencies in addition to setting up their grab and go kit, 72-hour kit, and a household preparedness plan.