Outlook 'Connect'ing to new public alert system

Residents of Outlook will have better access to critical information in the event of emergencies or important public notices if they choose to sign up for a new alert system that the Town has created.

The goal of the program called ‘Connect’ is to keep people informed of what’s happening in their community and provide up-to-date alerts when they need to be issued, such as a water main break, road construction, or a planned power outage.

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The program comes from the Winnipeg-based All-Net Municipal Solutions and “incorporates 20 years of municipal experience into one central portal to manage and disseminate messages to all residents via email, smartphone apps, text messages, social media and voice lines,” according to its website.  Connect was developed to give administrators in municipalities this portal to send and manage messages to community residents on multiple platforms, and the application also provides people with a link to the town office for the latest municipal information.

The program will also incorporate information from Canada’s emergency alert system, Alert Ready.

auto message
An example of an automated message sent out by Connect.

Connect first got the attention of the Town of Outlook last year after a proposal from All-Net to get onboard with the program sounded like a good idea for the community, as discussed at a July 2020 council meeting.  The numbers, broken down at the time by former town councillor Maureen Applin, equated to an approximate cost of $1.66 per resident per year.

Shanda Rolleston, an office clerk with the Town, says staff are getting ready behind the scenes for the imminent launch of Connect and noted that the public is being asked to sign up with their preferred method of communication.

“This is a brand-new system for our office!” said Shanda.  “Training will take place this week for the software and programming portion of the system.  We are currently asking people to sign up for there preferred method of communications for when the system is in place.”

Residents can read more on Connect and sign up for the program on the Town’s website at the following link: https://townofoutlook.ca/residents/connect_registration.html or learn more on the Town’s official Facebook page.

According to All-Net, the Connect program is used in more than 500 communities and serves more than 1.1 million people.

© The Outlook

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