South Dundas notification system is now available

MORRISBURG – The Municipality of South Dundas launched its mass notification system Thursday.

Working with Voyent Alert!, the Canadian company is already established with municipalities and emergency services across the country and now South Dundas is among them.

Through this system, which is already up and running, South Dundas residents can sign up to receive important municipal alerts any of four ways – through text message, email, downloading the app or by receiving a phone call with an automated voice message to either their cell phone or home phone.

“This is a great tool, especially for our residents who don’t have a computer or cell phone,” said Kalynn Sawyer Helmer, communications coordinator for South Dundas. “They don’t need to follow us on social media or worry about going to our website. If there is an important notice, they’ll simply get a notification right to their device or landline.”

To someone who might wonder why they should bother to sign up for this service, Helmer says: “This tool is going to act as the most reliable source of information for emergencies like boil water advisories, hazardous spills, gas leaks, etc. and for non-critical notifications like garbage pickup delays, snow removal information, hydrant flushing and the like.”

Helmer said the municipality is hoping every household in South Dundas will sign up for the service.

“I want to impress upon everyone that they are not going to be inundated with notifications,” explained Helmer.

This service is not for programming or event notifications, it is specifically for unexpected notices and important reminders.

“The intent is to eventually move away from our reliance on social media for public notices and alerts,” said Helmer. “We’ll still use social media, but when something important happens, be it a water main break or a gas leak, we won’t have to hope that those potentially affected will see it online. It will be sent directly to them.”

Alerts are targeted based on location, so if there is a water main break only those affected will receive a notification. But, when setting up the service, residents can set up multiple locations within South Dundas to receive pertinent information to those locations, such as an elderly parent’s home, their child’s school location, or their work address.

To make it as easy as possible for people, if they don’t want to sign up on their own, they can call the municipal office and a member of staff will set up the system for the interested resident.

“This is such an important tool,” said Helmer. “We strongly encourage people to sign up.”

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