New Bern Alerts is a free, mass notification an emergency messaging tool powered by Civic Ready. Colleen Roberts, the city’s public information officer (PIO) presented the messaging tool to the Board of Aldermen during the July 12, 2022 meeting. According to the PIO, this messaging tool offers delivery of the city’s information via text email and phone call text app. Phone data rates may apply. She noted if you sign up via the mobile app, you will only receive “geo-targeted alerts from us and weather alerts.”
The system is integrated with the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS). According to FEMA.gov, IPAWS, “Is FEMA’s national system for local alerting that provides authenticated emergency and life-saving information to the public through mobile phones using Wireless Emergency Alerts, to radio and television via the Emergency Alert System, and on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Weather Radio.”
The PIO talked about geofencing and geotargeting, “… we want to notify residents of a particular city street of a gas leak. We can geo-target our messaging only to subscribers on that street to let them know there’s been a gas leak and give them instructions about any possible evacuations.”
New Bern Alerts can also poll subscribers. Colleen Roberts noted we can “… ask them, do you need assistance evacuating? Please text back with a one for yes or two for no.”
Subscribers can also sign up to various groups. The PIO said, “… you have an interest in city events, general info, street closures, your trash pickup, non-emergency info for the New Bern Police Department … after school activities.”
Download New Bern Alerts app from Google Play store, the App Store, text your zip code to 38276, or visit newbernnc.myfreealerts.com.
By Wendy Card, Editor