Local emergency officials are pleased with the public’s response to a new platform promises improved access to emergency alerts through Saanich Peninsula Alert. (Black Press Media file photo)

Local emergency officials are pleased with the public’s response to a new platform promises improved access to emergency alerts through Saanich Peninsula Alert. (Black Press Media file photo)

Emergency officials on Saanich Peninsula pleased with transition to new alert platform

New platform has retained 83 per cent of previous subscribers

Local emergency officials are pleased with the public response to a new platform that promises improved access to emergency alerts through Saanich Peninsula Alert.

Donna Barner, fire and emergency management office services coordinator with the Town of Sidney, said 5,700 people have moved to the new platform that allows subscribers to receive multiple notifications. A North Saanich resident working in Central Saanich with parents in Sidney can set up notifications for all three areas, while the previous system only offered alerts for the address of subscribers.

The new platform went online on March 25 and required subscribers to log into the new system and register for the expanded list of alert options.

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The previous system drew 7,500 subscribers, but Barner said the nature of the previous platform led to duplicates. “For example, if you wanted to receive alerts for multiple areas, you had to create multiple accounts,” she said.

A review of the data found that 6,900 unique individuals had signed up for the notifications. “To date, we have close to 5,700 registrations on the new platform,” Barner said.

Sidney Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brett Mikkelsen said staff from Sidney, North Saanich, and Central Saanich are “extremely pleased to have attained 83 per cent of our previous subscribers over the course of one month.”

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According to Mikkelsen, this figure has exceeeded the new provider’s targeted expectations. “Our goal will continue to be striving towards having 100 (per cent) of residents subscribed to this invaluable notification platform,” he said.

Locals as well as visitors can register at saanichpeninsulaalert.connectrocket.com.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com