The SRD has released results of its recent emergency test system. File photo

Strathcona Regional District releases emergency system test results

More than 86 per cent of notifications were picked up or went to machine on Jan. 31

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) has released results of its recent emergency notification system test.

On Jan. 31, the SRD conducted the test using Connect Rocket to notify 17,931 numbers across 17 different notification lists, reaching 86.3 per cent of numbers, registering either as “picked up” or were answered by a machine.

Five per cent reached a land-line with no answering machine, while 1.1 per cent rang bust and 7.6 per cent registered as “failed.” Most of these were attributed to discontinued phone numbers, while a small percentage – probably less than 0.5 per cent encountered an application error message.

Also, as a result of the test, the SRD enrolled 600 additional residents for the emergency notification system. It is providing the following information for people with questions about the tests.

The call showed up as an unknown number on my land-line and I don’t typically pick up calls from an unknown number.

At this time, there are telecommunications industry limitations that affect how the SRD can leverage call display tools. The SRD staff is working with Connect Rocket to examine possible options to remedy the lack of a text-based call display. In the interim, know that all emergency notifications will originate from 778-762-3201. Save this number to your phone or address book.

The test time for my notification list was scheduled for 10:30 a.m, but I didn’t receive the notification until 10:42 a.m.

Connect Rocket measures the delivery of notifications to both mobile and land-line numbers. This is done to prevent the overloading of local telephone switching infrastructure at times when heavy use is expected. When notifying larger groups, it will take several minutes to call and/or message all numbers. The SRD and Connect Rocket aim to maintain the capacity to notify all residents within 15 minutes of initiating a notification.

I received multiple notifications throughout the day.

Due to the vast geography of the Strathcona Regional District there are 17 lists (based on geography) that people can sign up to receive notifications for. They tested every single list on Jan. 31, so you should have received a notification for each list that you subscribed to. If you wish to make changes to your contact information and/or the lists you are subscribed to, you can do this by visiting: https://strathconard.connectrocket.com and signing into your account.

How do I know which list was being tested?

The notification you received would have indicated “Testing, Testing this is a test of the notification list for =N:E= No action is required. This is only a test.

I received a notification in November from Alert Ready, but I didn’t receive a message on Jan. 31 from Connect Rocket

Alert Ready is a Canada-wide program that allows provincial/territorial emergency management organizations to issue emergency alerts. Alert Ready cannot be used by local governments at this time. These alerts are sent to all mobile devices in an area and no enrollment is required. Alert Ready was most recently tested in B.C. on Wednesday, Nov. 28. To receive Alert Ready emergency alerts, a wireless device must be: a smartphone able to use the LTE (or 4G) network for high-speed wireless communication; wireless Public Alerting compatible; have up-to-date software; connected to an LTE cellular network at the time the emergency alert is issued and within the emergency area.

Why don’t we just have one alerting system?

Under Section 2(3)(e) of BC Reg.380/95 (Local Authority Emergency Management Regulation) requires that local authorities establish procedures by which those persons who may be harmed or who may suffer loss are notified of an emergency or impending disaster.

This responsibility is recognized by public agencies who rely on the local authorities to be the primary source for public emergency alerts. The SRD’s emergency program utilizes Connect Rocket to provide residents and visitors with meaningful local information and instruction to preserve life and property at time of emergency.

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