The City of Vancouver has announced that it is now using a free app to warn residents of future local emergencies.
The app, called Alertable, is available here for download for iOS or Android smartphones at Google Play or the App Store.
It can also be downloaded from your computer, tablet, or smart speaker.
In a December 2 release, the city's director of emergency management, Daniel Stevens, said the app's speed of information distribution is an important factor in its adoption. “Staying informed is an essential component of personal emergency preparedness,” Stevens said. “Alertable is one of the fastest ways we can reach people. Now, more than ever, we need to be able to deliver important safety information to people in various ways.”
Up to now, the city noted, local news media, its own website, social media, and even knocking on doors have constituted its range of options for notifying people of possible dangers such as major fires or hazardous-materials emergencies.
The city said in the release that upon receiving an alert through Alertable, users will get "clear and direct instructions on how to stay safe".
On the city's Alertable web page, residents are advised that after downloading the app, they will be asked to set their preferences for both "critical" alerts and "advisory" alerts, which are defined as the following: "Critical alerts are issued for extremely severe events that may require immediate action. Advisory Alerts are issued so you are aware and can prepare for an event."