March 25, 2019

The Region of Waterloo, local municipalities and the Waterloo Regional Police Service have jointly launched a new emergency notification system: AlertWaterlooRegion (AlertWR).

AlertWR is a service that allows residents in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Woolwich, North Dumfries, Wilmot and Wellesley to receive public safety messages in the event of threats to public safety, some which include floods, chemical releases, severe weather and power outages.

With AlertWR, citizens and businesses near an emergency are informed using geo-mapping technology. Location data, visualizations and maps all work together to send alerts to citizens.

“Since Friday, March 1, when the service was launched, about 4,000 residents in the Waterloo Region have subscribed,” said Waterloo Region emergency management manager Sandy van Solm. “We are hoping everyone in the region will subscribe, but that will take some time.

Waterloo Regional Police Service will also be able to effectively alert the public more quickly about safety threats. In the event of a flood or chemical spill, residents near the threat will be notified as quickly as possible, said van Solm.

WRPS Insp. Gzime Dietrich agreed.

“The AlertWR notification system allows us to work together with other first responders, the Region and the municipalities to ensure we provide a unified response, where everyone is informed and prepared to respond to an incident,” she said.

Notifications can be delivered to home phones, mobile phones and other devices through texts and emails. A website has been launched to promote the system and permit the public to subscribe and sign up through multiple devices. The service is open to anyone within the region.

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