Emergency Notification Systems
This section of our technical library presents articles written about Emergency Alert Systems and Disaster Recovery definitions, terms and related information.
The 911Broadcast emergency notification and alert service can deliver a large number of phone calls using a network of phone systems employing digital phone lines simultaneously. Should a disaster such as a snow storm, wild fire or flood hit your area, 911Broadcast systems can alert your community quickly providing specific instructions if an evacuation is required.
This service is available using our emergency broadcasting systems. If a dangerous chemical spill occurs in your community, you can target specific areas to call. If a severe snow storm hits your area, your community can be notified of school closings or event cancellations.
Community Alert Network
For the City of Cornwall and the Counties of S.D.&G
Your neighbourhood is relatively a safe place to live. But a serious incident affecting health and safety can happen anywhere at any time. It could be a large fire or chemical spill, an earthquake or tornado, almost any dangerous natural or man-made.
WOULDN'T YOU WANT TO BE TOLD?
That's the reason for the City of Cornwall and the United Counties of S.D.&G. Community Alert Network. It's a system to warn as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, and it's as close as your phone.
The system works by automatically phoning all homes and businesses in an affected area with a specific warning. The message is delivered as simply and clearly as possible by voice. All the calls are generated and tracked by a sophisticated computer system to make sure every number is called - More than once if necessary.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
Should we expect a problem?
No. But, the Community Alert Network will be here just in case. It's been set up as a cooperative effort between local industry and the Public Safety Authorities in your municipality.
But what could happen?
The system has been designed to inform you of any incident that could threaten your health or safety. It may be activated in the event of a large fire or explosion, a chemical spill or toxic fumes, a severe weather condition, criminal activity, any significant incident that could put you or your family at risk. It may also be activated to help find a missing person.
How will I know?
You'll be called. The Community Alert Network is a way for public safety authorities to quickly contact people by relaying a warning message by phone to every home and business which may be affected. You'll hear a recorded voice telling you what the problem is and what advice you should follow.
Who calls me?
The hub of the network is a computerized system that contains listed phone number of the City of Cornwall and the Counties of S.D.&G. indexed by address. This system will identify all homes, apartments and businesses in the affected area. It then calls each of these numbers and delivers a specific warning message.
How does the network know who to call? And when?
Only public safety authorities (fire, police, emergency planning) have access to the system. When an incident occurs, the reporting authority will call in, identifying the affected area and providing the message to be related to the appropriate phone numbers. The network can call 6,000 phones per hour, starting with those most at risk - usually those locations closest to the incident. Upwards of 20,000 people can be notified this way within 60 minutes.
What should I do when I'm called?
Listen carefully to the message. Remember, the Community Alert Network is only activated by an actual incident that could threaten your health or safety or require your help. Take the advice seriously. You may be asked to stay indoors or evacuate the area, or the message may be an advisory telling you to listen to your local radio for details.
What if I'm not home?
Then you may be safely out of the area. On returning to your neighbourhood, you'll soon know if there's still a problem or it it's safe to go home.
What if I don't answer?
Our system will call each number up to three separate times, a few minutes apart, until a connection is made. So if you don't hear one call, there'll be another.
Will my answering machine get the message?
Yes. Whenever a connection is made, our system will begin to play the recorded message. Your machine will record it. If you're in the habit of leaving the machine on while you're at home, always check your messages as soon as convenient.
What if you don't reach me?
All phone numbers not answered after three calls are recorded in a report for the appropriate authorities. Depending on the nature of the incident, you may be called again, or an official (fire or police) may come to your address to notify you in person.
What if my number's unlisted?
Our database is compiled from published directories only and will be updated annually. To make sure your unlisted number is included in our calling list, please phone Emergency Planning Services at 932-6252, ext. 372. Our database is used only for emergency calls; your privacy will be protected.
Can the system be misused?
Only authorized personnel can call into the system. These are trained people - fire, police and emergency planning staff. They have been instructed on the proper method to assess any danger and the proper procedure for notifying the public. To protect against misuse, everyone authorized to activate the Community Alert Network has been issued a personal identification password. No one else can use the system.
WHOSE SYSTEM IS IT?
It's yours. The City of Cornwall and the United Counties of S.D.&G. have subscribed to the Community Alert Network.
And it's here due to the financial commitment from Emergency Measures Ontario, the City of Cornwall, the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, Lilly Products Inc., Domtar Fine Papers, Cornwall Electric, Ontario Hydro and Meridian Richmond Die Casting Ltd.