The City of Regina is working to make it so that when there’s an emergency, people in the city will know almost right away.
That’s why it has launched the NotifyNow alert system. For those who’ve signed up, it sends out alerts to cell phones, email, and landlines.
Emergencies can range from weather like tornadoes to flooding, to evacuations, to orders, to shelter in place, and water quality warnings. The alerts will also include instructions on what to do.
Mayor Michael Fougere called the system critically important, citing rail line and natural disasters as possibilities.
“It’s all about notifying people to protect them, keep them safe, keeping property safe.”
Fougere said Saskatoon uses a similar system and it’s worked well there.
The system won’t cost anything to taxpayers to run as the Co-op Refinery Complex is footing the bill. It will be donating $320,000 over the next five years for the system.
The agreement will be renewable after those five years.
Gilbert Le Dressay is vice-president of the refinery complex. He said the company got involved with the project because it aligned with its values of safety.
“One of the major reasons that we felt compelled to get involved with NotifyNow was our more than 1,000 employees who work at the refinery. We strive every day to keep them safe at work, and with this announcement we will help to keep them safer at home.”
Le Dressay said it has nothing to do with the emergencies the refinery has had over the past few years.
The city wants to have as many people as possible signed up for the system by the first test on June 1.
At this point, the only way to sign up for the system is online. Fire chief Ernie Polsom said they haven’t worked through the low-tech side of it yet. But Polsom did say Service Regina would likely be able to help people out who may not have access to a computer or the internet.