Testing, testing: Prince Rupert to try new emergency app

Trial run of alert system coming to a mobile phone near you on June 26

The first wave of Prince Rupert’s localized emergency alerts will hit the North Coast city on June 26 at 6 p.m. — if you’ve subscribed.

So far, only 500 people have signed up for the service.

“Five hundred is not enough of the population,” Veronika Stewart, city communications manager, said.

“We really encourage people to sign up, because it will provide a localized alert … about where to go in case of an emergency and an update on local conditions.”

The City of Prince Rupert’s mobile alert system, Connect Rocket, launched in April 2018 but has yet to be tested. It will send a notification even if you don’t have cellular data, but can’t push through if your phone is on silent mode. The trial run will look like a text, and will be marked as a test. For the 300 people signed up to the city’s municipal app, they will also get a notification. At the same time, landlines signed up for a signal will be called with a recorded voice message informing them of the drill.

READ MORE: City launches its own app and emergency notification system

Residents will also receive tsunami brochures in the mail, complete with a map of low-lying areas and instructions on what to do in the case of a tsunami.

The app is designed to complement the province’s new alert system, which was tested with mixed results on May 9.

In February, Prince Rupert received $450,000 of funding from the federal and provincial government to complete a tsunami flood risk assessment. The city also pitched in $30,000 in funding and in-kind labour of city staff.

The project will determine more precisely what areas are at risk and of what.

“We do have an idea, but we’d like to verify it,” Stewart said, adding the results of the research will be released once it’s done by the end of 2018 or early 2019.

To sign download or sign up for Connect Rocket and the city app visit: http://princerupert.ca/emergency/

READ MORE: B.C. to work with emergency alert operator after test fails to reach all



keili.bartlett@thenorthernview.com

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