• Safe Communities Alert Network - emergency notification system

Safe Communities Alert Network

What is the Town of Okotoks' Safe Communities Alert Network?

SAFE Communities Alert Network is for emergency alerts. It helps us contact you in a crisis – floods, tornadoes, wildfires, hazardous material spills, and any other emergencies that might affect you or your family. You'll receive official, reliable information about what's happening and what you need to do about it.

Please ensure that you are using the most up to date version of your web browser when signing up.

Sign Up

How Does Safe Communities Alert Network Work?

When you sign up at www.SCANalerts.ca, you’ll be asked for your location. You can enter your home address and other locations important to you, such as a school, workplace, or a relative’s home. Next, you’ll be asked for any phone numbers, e-mail addresses, or text message numbers where we can reach you.

 In a crisis, we’ll use your contact information to reach you with important, time-sensitive information about what’s happening and any steps you need to take to protect you or your family. We’ll use all your phone numbers, e-mail addresses, or text message numbers one-by-one until we reach you, or until the information is no longer valid. 

Choose your alerts

This system will be used to notify you about emergent, significant and time-sensitive emergency events affecting the Town of Okotoks. Town of Okotoks system administrators will send notifications regarding:

  • Critical emergency alerts (immediate threat to safety)
  • Severe weather warnings for Okotoks

Keep Up-to-Date

Once you’ve signed up, you can change your contact details or other information at any time.

About the Safe Communities Alert Network Regional Partnership

The Town of Okotoks is partnering with seven other neighbouring municipalities on this regional emergency notifications system. The system is hosted by Foothills 911, and other participating municipalities include High River, MD of Foothills, Black Diamond, Longview, Turner Valley, Vulcan, and Vulcan County.

You choose which communities you want to receive notifications from – sign up just for alerts from Okotoks, or for notifications from several communities.

Questions?

 Please read the following FAQ's for important information on the system.

How does the Safe Communities Alert Network work?

When you sign up, you’ll be asked for your location. You can enter your home address and other locations important to you, such as a school, workplace, or a relative’s home. Next, you’ll be asked for any phone numbers, e-mail addresses, or text message numbers where we can reach you.

Emergencies: In a crisis, we’ll use your contact information to reach you with important information about what’s happening and any steps you need to take to protect yourself or your family.

For example, we might warn you of a chemical spill threatening your area, give you details on evacuation, and let you know when it’s safe to return home.

We’ll use all your phone numbers, e-mail addresses, or text message numbers one-by-one until we reach you.

NOTE: This system is powered by Everbridge. When you receive an alert, please do not call the phone number, as the system is automated and there will be no one to answer and no ability to leave a voice mail. 

When will the Alert System be used?

This Safe Communities Alert Network will be used to notify you about emergent, significant and time-sensitive emergency events affecting Okotoks. System administrators will send notifications regarding:

  • Critical emergency alerts (immediate threat to safety)
  • Severe weather warnings for Okotoks

Alert messages can also be sent to you about incidents happening near your home, work, school, or other address locations you choose in your settings.

We’ll also send out occasional test messages to be sure everything’s working, and to remind you to keep your contact information up-to-date.

Will signing up help first responders?

The Safe Communities Alert Network can not only save your life, but it can also help first responders save others. For example, if there is an emergency we might ask you to evacuate and confirm through the Safe Communities Alert Network that you have left the area. First responders could then prioritize checking out homes where we haven’t heard from the residents.

How does the notification work when you provide more than one form of contact?

Some notifications will require you to confirm receipt of the message. If you don't confirm receipt of the message, the system will try to reach your second contact number or email. The system will continue to contact you until it receives a confirmation.

How will you receive the alerts?

The Safe Communities Alert Network system will send emergency messages to voluntary subscribers through the following means (depending on what method(s) you select when signing up): 

  • home phone
  • work phone
  • cell phone (work and/or personal)
  • email (work and personal)
  • SMS text messages
  • download the mobile app (available for Android and iPhone search for 'ContactBridge') - see instructions below

Subscribers can manage in what order they would prefer to receive alerts during the signing up process. Account settings can be managed by the subscriber after signing up as well.

  • Email notifications will be sent from "Safe Communities Alert Network" 
  • Telephone notifications will be sent from call display 403-933-6568. You can save this number in your phone as "Safe Communities Alert Network"
  • Text message notifications will be sent from call display 89362. You can save this number in your phone as "Safe Communities Alert Network"

Please note: the alerts will be sent only until you confirm that you have received them. For example: if you receive an alert to your landline and confirm you have received it, the system will stop trying to reach you and you will not receive any other alerts through the additional phone numbers or emails that you signed up with. 

Downloading and Using the Mobile App

PLEASE NOTE:

  1. The mobile app is offered through the SCAN service provider, Everbridge. The app is called ContactBridge

  2. You must set up an account and subscribe to at least one alert before you can download the app. Once you have registered an account, click on the appropriate badge below to download the app

  1. Once you've downloaded the app, then login using your username and password. This will add the mobile app to your account automatically (Note: it will appear last on your list of contact methods).
  2. To change the order so the mobile app is higher on your preferred methods of contact, do the following:
    • Select Manage Accounts from the drop down list on the top left corner of the app,
    • Select your name,
    • Then Click on Manage My Profile,
    • You should then be able to edit your profile. Use the up/down arrows to re-arrange your contact methods as you like.
    • Scroll to the bottom of the screen and hit SAVE to save your changes.
Why is it important for you to provide an address?

The Safe Communities Alert Network is a sophisticated system that allows us to use targeted mapping and address locations to notify a specific group of residents. Entering the addresses you care, like your home address, about allows us to notify you if there is an urgent situation in the immediate vicinity of that address(es).

Alerts can be sent out according to the geographic area affected. You can enter up to five addresses into the alert system. Addresses can include your workplace, children's school, daycare, home address, etc. Please note the system will issue only Okotoks-area specific alerts. I.e. if your work address is located in Calgary we will not issue alerts for that address.

Will you still get emergency notifications if you don't sign up?

No, you will only receive emergency alerts from the Safe Communities Alert Network if you sign up.

In an emergency, Town of Okotoks first responders will do whatever they can to protect lives, such as going door-to-door, alerting the media, etc. But in most situations, the Safe Communities Alert Network is the fastest, most direct, and easiest way for you to get critical information. Plus, it’s official information – none of the rumours or misinformation you often get from social media and word-of-mouth reports.

In the event of a local disaster, Okotoks residents will also be notified through the Alberta Emergency Alert system. In addition, information will be available through the following channels:

  • Okotoks website (www.okotoks.ca)
  • local radio station (Eagle 100.9 FM)
  • social media sites: Twitter (@townofokotoks) and on Facebook
  • Town e-Newsletter subscription (subscribe)
  • door-to-door visits by emergency personnel (if necessary)
What is the difference between Alberta Emergency Alert and the Safe Communities Alert Network?

Alberta Emergency Alert is a provincially run emergency alert system that provides information on disasters throughout Alberta. It is also designed to send out information over radio, television, websites and directly to residents via personalized contact systems. The Safe Communities Alert Network system only provides information specific to Okotoks residents. You are encouraged to sign up for both systems, and both systems will be used during an emergency.

What if your phone number or email address changes?

The system is only as good as the information you provide. If your contact information changes, you can always visit your profile and update your information. It is recommended that you write down your username and password and keep it safe.

 

Why can't you register as a family?

It is recommended you sign up for the alerts as an individual, rather than by family unit. This ensures the notification system reaches all parties through their own personal contact devices.

Will your contact information be shared with others?

No. The information that you provide will be used only by the Town of Okotoks for Safe Communities Alert Network messages. You can change or cancel your registration at any time.

Who can you contact if you have questions?

If you require further assistance or have questions regarding the Safe Communities Alert Network, call 403-938-4404.

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