The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) has a brand new Evacuation Notification System (ENS) for all area residents in the region to get instant information in regards to potential evacuation orders or alerts.
Powered by Voyent Alert!, the RDEK is providing the service to everyone by phone, text, online, or through a mobile app.
The ENS would only provide critical updates in regards to evacuation orders or alerts for significant events such as wildfires, floods, or incidents involving hazardous materials.
“One of the important things in an emergency, obviously, is time is of the essence and so we’ve been looking for ways to help provide additional tools to get information out to our residents and property owners in the event of evacuation alerts or orders,” Loree Duczek told MyEastKootenayNow.com, RDEK Communications Manager.
“We do go door-to-door to provide notification, but in rural areas such as ours, it can take a really long time for us to be able to work through that process so having a system that people can register for to receive those alerts or orders will just help give us one more way for people to get the information when time is really critical.”
Registration to receive alerts by phone or text can be found online through Voyent Alert!, or if residents have a smartphone, they can download the Voyent Alert! application from the Apple App Store or Googe Play Store.
Duczek said the system isn’t just limited to local residents by everyone and anyone that wants notifications about an area in the RDEK.
“This service is available to everyone in the East Kootenay, whether they live in a municipality, they live in a rural area, if they own a second home here, even for people maybe that come here camping to their favourite camping spot every year,” explained Duczek. “This service is available based on anyone within the East Kootenay that has a location that they’d like to sign up for, to register for, and then to receive notifications for, if it were ever the subject of an evacuation order or alert.”
“The introduction of ENS gives us one more tool in our regional emergency communications toolkit,” added Rob Gay, Chair of the RDEK Board. “Over the past two years, we have seen how long it can take to complete the notification process when a large area is affected, so we are excited to have this new option available.”
More information on the new ENS can be found at the RDEK website or by contacting the RDEK’s Cranbrook office at (250) 489-2791.