Sunday, October 23, 2016

Atlantic CoastGuide


Towns would like to see more residents sign up for emergency alert system - Mar. 26, 2014

Kathy Bockus
St. Stephen
Residents are still being encouraged to sign up for the Sentinel Emergency Alert system in their respective communities.
Mike O’Connell, St. Stephen’s director of parks and recreation, said only 57 people have signed up for the system in that town. O’Connell said the town has renewed the system for another year.
“It’s a great resource if we can get it up and running. It’s not a good resource if no one signs up.”
In Saint Andrews, CAO Tim Henderson said the town is still encouraging residents to join the emergency alert system.
He said after this winter’s ice storm brought to light that some people had not yet registered. “We had quite a rush of people wanting to sign up.”
St. George is not on the Sentinel system yet but residents will be able to sign up once the town has its new website set up as there will be a link there and that is expected to be completed in about a month.
In December of 2011, in the wake of freak floods that hit the town and the region in the same month in 2010, St. Stephen town council agreed to cost share a program with the provincial government and subscribed to an emergency alert system called Sentinel. The program was offered by the Department of Public Safety.
Once residents enroll, listing their preference for contact – email, voice mail or text message - the program enables the town to inform its residents of details of emergency situations. Many people have cell phone service and are able to send and receive text messages and phone calls during power outages.
Registration can be completed on the town’s websites or by visiting town hall and filling out a form.
Jason Cooling, the regional EMO coordinator, said while Sentinel is a great tool for municipalities to warn of impending danger and other alerts, it has its limitations, such as people who don’t want to be part of the system as well as the constant upgrading required.
“People move or pass away, so it’s a great tool but is only as good as the info you put into it,” said Cooling.