The City of Whitehorse has a new way of reaching residents and visitors when there is an emergency — that’s provided residents and visitors sign on for the service.
The mass emergency notification service Whitehorse Alerts launched recently, with the city now calling on residents and visitors to register for it.
“The public registration piece is very important,” Whitehorse Fire Chief Jason Everett told council and senior management at a roundtable discussion in March before the service was publically launched.
Those who register can choose whether to get notifications via email, text or voice message.
“Once registered for this service it is important that you keep your account information up to date to ensure you receive all alerts that may affect you,” the statement reads. “This system is only as effective as the information entered.”
While residents of the city can register to receive notifications whenever they are issued via the service, there is also an option for visitors to sign up for seven days by texting the keyword whitehorsealert to 67283.
Everett said that while the service provides a new option for the city to communicate with residents and visitors about emergency situations, traditional methods of communication such as radio alerts will continue to be used as well.
Along with being able to message those registered throughout Whitehorse, the service can also target its alerts to a specific neighbourhood.
“It can be area-specific,” Everett said.
To issue an alert, three criteria need to be met. There must be an immediate threat, a high risk to public safety and a need for citizens to take action to protect themselves, such as to evacuate or shelter-in-place.
Residents enter their address and other information when they register for the service. It will then target specific neighbourhoods or the entire city.
Everett said the city will be working to get as many residents as possible signed on to the service.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at firstname.lastname@example.org