Like many small cities and towns, Chestermere, AB, was looking to identify a way to rapidly provide their citizens with reliable and accurate information about emergency incidents that concern their well-being, safety, and daily interactions.
Under the directive of the City’s Communications and Community Safety Teams, the City of Chestermere leveraged Voyent Alert!, an all-encompassing mass notification system. After more than a year of dedicated use, administrators have successfully notified residents of time-sensitive situations they may be vulnerable to and kept their internal communications running effectively.
Becoming a Trusted Source
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chestermere used Voyent Alert! to disseminate accurate information from the Emergency Command Centre to keep community members informed as relevant situations arose.
“Voyent Alert! has been a great tool to rapidly notify our residents and provide them with reliable and accurate information about incidents,” says Claire Halpin, Communications Advisor with the City. “We recently had a shelter in place incident involving a possible firearm and were able to quickly notify residents in the incident region to keep them safe and informed, as well as the entire region to provide information about the current situation.”
Critical incidents such as these drove meaningful awareness of Voyent Alert! and in turn, increased resident registrations. Community members wanted to stay safe and informed, so naturally became active participants on the platform.
“We have nearly doubled our registrants due to COVID-19. People are seeking information from community officials, and Voyent Alert! has been helpful in disseminating accurate and local information to citizens easily and quickly.”
Bridging Communication Gaps
Among the many mass notification features that Chestermere appreciated about the Voyent Alert! App, they were most excited about Voyent Alert!’s GPS accuracy. “We love the ability to target specific locations with Voyent Alert! and provide residents with two different notifications or alerts based on their location and relevance,” adds Claire.
This feature is especially useful when the City needs to send tiered notifications – different messages to one group over another, such as a fire advisory versus an evacuation order.
More than just emergencies
To the city’s benefit, Voyent Alert! offers communication solutions beyond emergency contexts.
“We found it useful for sending out information regarding structure fires as well as weather alerts, as we are subject to some extreme weather conditions in our location,” says Claire. “These alerts really helped build awareness about the service and increased registration each time we sent out an alert due to the relevance. Whenever we send an alert, we also post the alert on social with a link to register to drive awareness and registration.”
To further bolster community engagement, Chestermere has regularly requested feedback from their community members on what kind of alerts they find helpful and would like to continue to see. Those responses will be used to tailor future alerts.
Learn more about Voyent Alert! and how towns and organizations can enhance community information, engagement, and safety.