After the wildfire season of 2010 it became apparent the Cariboo-Chilcotin needed an emergency notification system, said Cariboo Regional District chair Al Richmond.
"We had particular issues in rural areas where people don't necessarily have phone service, but learned they had internet access to phone by satellite," Richmond said during an interview.
Five years later the CRD, in partnership with the districts of 100 Mile House and Wells, Quesnel and Williams Lake, will launch the Everbridge Emergency Notification System free of charge to provide mass emergency notifications throughout the region.
It will go in effect on May 5, 2015.
"This option provides people, particularly from a rural area, with the ability to receive information by texts, e-mail, work or cell phone," Richmond said. "It's been a collaborative effort, saying we need to do something better."
Previously the CRD would notify people using a call list, but that didn't always work for everyone.
Everybody does not have landlines, there are no listings of cell phones, and with people using different providers, it's difficult to rely on one list.
Subscribers will only hear from the system when there are emergencies, Richmond added.
"So it won't mean we'll be contacting them on a lot of issues, but when there are emergencies like wildfires or the Mount Polley breach we will be able to get them the information in a timely manner."
To register, people can visit local government websites and select the “Sign Up For Emergency Notifications” icon on the home page.
Every member of a family that has a cell phone, a personal e-mail account, text messaging or Apps, needs to register so that no matter where the family is when an emergency strikes, they will know what is happening and what to do.
"If you require any assistance in registering please do not hesitate to contact your presiding local government office," Richmond said.
Cariboo Regional District – cariboord.ca or call 250-392-3351 – Toll free 1-800-665-1636
District of 100 Mile House – 100milehouse.com or call 250-395-2434
City of Quesnel – quesnel.ca or call 250-992-2111
District of Wells – wells.ca or call 250-994-3330
City of Williams Lake – williamslake.ca or call 250-392-2311