Alert system available for cell phones

Posted

Just in time for the severe weather and fire season, Thornton has added an emergency notification feature with its T-Alerts System. 

Residents can sign up to get notifications of potentially threatening emergency events happening in their neighborhoods.

“In a world of fast paced and instant communications, public safety T-Alerts allows first responders to have immediate access to our residents through their preferred means of communication,” said Thornton police officer Matt Barnes. “First responders will now have the ability to immediately notify residents of critical information involving severe weather, police or fire emergencies, and events that jeopardize the public’s safety. These alerts will empower our citizens to take action to ensure their families safety in a pending emergency situation.”

Barnes said a very similar emergency notification system was used during the Boston bombing incident in April and police were able to notify residents that a potentially dangerous individual was in their neighborhoods.

“Locally, helping find a lost child, or notification of pending severe weather, such as a tornado, are examples of possible future use,” he said.

The city has offered T-Alerts for traffic announcements (road construction, closures, detours), recreation and community events for about four years. The system sends out emails to residents. Listed and unlisted landline phone numbers are automatically included in the system. The system will leave a recorded message if an answering machine picks up and it will redial the number if no one answers or the line is busy.

Residents must sign up with the system if they would like to be notified via their cell phones. Residents can sign up to five cell phone numbers with the Emergency Notification System and they will even receive the text alert if they are out of town.

“It’s definitely the most robust system we’ve had before,” said Todd Barnes, communications manager with the city of Thornton. “It’s much more specific and provides a greater degree of reliability.”

For instance, if adverse weather is happening in north Thornton, south Thornton residents will not be notified, which is good, Todd Barnes said, because the city is 10 miles long. To sign up for the cell phone notification, visit the city’s website at www.cityofthornton.net and click on the Public Safety tab on the left side of the window.