Emergency alerts and critical information are available in a moment’s notice with the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s new alert system. The notification service allows residents and visitors who register to receive alerts and critical information regarding floods, wildfires, and more.

Interim Manager of Emergency Programs Mark Stephens says they were starting to review systems before last year’s freshet but it had to be put on hold.

He adds there’s a lot that this system can do:

“What’s interesting about this system when you register for a smart device is that you can set multiple locations to be alerted about, so for example if you had vacation property in Christina Lake but you worked over in Grand Forks or maybe in Midway you can set both locations, and any time we issue an alert that affects one of those locations you will receive it.”

Stephens says it’s pretty fast:

“This system can deliver notifications rapidly, it varies depending on which actual form of communication we’re using, but generally about 150 contacts per second can be delivered with this one.”

The system offers information such as the distance and direction from an incident, preferred evacuation lists in which the user can choose from, and more.

Stephens says meteorological sites are constantly being monitored, and the snow-pack is currently half of what it was last year for the Boundary Region.

“Roughly it’s half of what it was this time last year so we’re sitting good on snow-pack and we’re really optimistic about that. We do have to watch for rain on snow events so when it’s forecasting for large amounts of rain over short periods of time with high temperatures, that’s something we watch very closely to make sure we have measures in place if need be.”

The RDKB will still be hand-delivering evacuation orders and some evacuation alerts. The app is available for free on the Google Play and Apple app stores under Voyent Alert! and it takes less than five minutes to register. Non smart-phone users can register for e-mail, text, or phone-call notifications by clicking here.