Following last week’s citywide emergency notification test, Portland Mayor Sam Adams today urged residents to register their cell phone numbers (for voice and text messages) and email addresses at PublicAlerts.org. During the test, vendor First Call needed twice as long as it predicted to push voice messages through the local phone system. By contrast, the emails and text messages it sent were delivered rapidly. To receive those timely alerts, one must sign up at PublicAlerts.org.
“During a major emergency, quickly-delivered, geographically-tailored alerts can save lives. But we can’t protect you with this technology unless you provide us with your cell phone number for text messages and your email address,” said Mayor Adams. All the information provided during PublicAlerts.org registration is kept private and confidential. It will be used only for emergency notifications, he added.
The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) has initiated conversations with First Call and local telephone service provider CenturyLink to determine the feasibility of reaching landline and cell phones more quickly during future notifications. [more]