2012-07-12 / Editorial

No downside to town’s new emergency system

Chief Mello got the town’s emergency notification system up and running this week. For all the flak that the Police Department gets on the island, there seems to be no discernable reasons for letters to the editor opposing this project.

Relatively speaking, for the services that the new Everbridge system provides, it was dirt cheap for the town. For less than $3,000, everyone who works, lives and plays on the island can now be notified for something as serious as hurricane evacuations or sexual offenders, or just simple inconveniences like a road detour or the flushing of a fire hydrant.

And it’s all customizable: If you could care less about water outages, simply don’t check the box online and you won’t get any phone calls or text messages about water outages.

But the system’s capabilities aren’t limited to, for example, an email when there is a missing person. The system brings the community together in a sense. People who have medical or firefighting training can key that into the system if they would like to help in dire situations. If you have experience helping in shelters, let the town know. The chief will give you a ring if there is a mass evacuation to see if you want to help some of your neighbors who may have been displaced during a storm.

In a wheelchair? Sure, there is a place to input that. This system lets the police know which residents have special needs – how can that be a bad thing?

There is no cost. There is no hassle – I signed up Tuesday. It took me five minutes. I urge you to go to the Police Department’s website and do the same.

— Tim Riel

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