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New alert system and self-evacuation sticker available for residents

Jasper Fire Chief Mathew Conte holds the new “I Have Evacuated” sticker during an open house at the Emergency Services Building on May 4. | P.Shokeir photo

Peter Shokeir | editor@fitzhugh.ca

Jasperites are encouraged to be ready for emergencies by signing up for Jasper Connect, the new municipal alert system, and picking up the new “I Have Evacuated” sticker.

For Emergency Preparedness Week, the municipality hosted an open house at the Emergency Services Building to help residents be wildfire ready.

Christine Nadon, director of Legislative and Protective Services, said the new municipal alert system comes alongside the municipality’s new website and rebranding.

“It’s our way to communicate with residents when something’s happening (so) we can give them some information,” Nadon said.

Although there is Alberta Emergency Alert that has a broader reach, the municipal system provides more flexibility about what type of information can be provided.

“Not everything escalated to Alberta Emergency Alert sometimes, so just for more information updates, not necessarily evacuation orders or alerts,” Nadon said.

Jasper Connect will function similarly to the previous system and is currently launching just to provide emergency notifications, but the municipality plans to launch different types of notifications in the future.

“Connect has the ability to work with geographic locations, so when you sign up, it asks for your street address,” Nadon said.

For example, it could be used to notify a specific neighbourhood about a water outage.

The new system can also send out phone calls.

“So, to reach out seniors or people who might not have access to technology easily, it will be a recorded message that will phone a landline or a cell phone and have a voice message delivered,” Nadon said.

In addition to the new alert system, Jasper now has an updated evacuation guide and a new “I Have Evacuated” sticker.

Fire Chief Mathew Conte said residents who have self-evacuated can put this sticker on their front door, or a large bay window facing the street, to let evacuation teams know the residence has been cleared out.

“They can start prioritizing other residences that don’t have that up, making sure everybody is evacuated,” Conte said.

“And once that primary (sweep) is done, then they’ll come back through a second sweep just to make sure everybody has (left).”

The sticker features a link and QR code for My Alberta Emergency Registration System.

The new evacuation guide has some different wording and was updated to make it consistent with the new evacuation plan that is being worked on.

“The guide will walk you through basically what to do in the event of an evacuation, how to prepare your property,” Conte said.

The guide also explains how to put together an emergency kit and what to include.

The fire chief encouraged residents to know their evacuation zones, since authorities would likely conduct a staged evacuation where high-risk areas are evacuated first.

Visit getprepared.ca, alberta.ca/BePrepared and www.jasper-alberta.ca for more information and resources.

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