The City went with the SwiftReach notification system that allows residents to sign up to receive emergency alerts through their phone, texts, or even email. (here’s the link to sign up: SwiftReach)
The system has the flexibility to target the alerts to specific areas of the City — for example if water line repairs will result in a temporary shut off, we’re able to notify only those residents affected by the water shut off; we don’t call everybody.
With so many “robo-calls” these days we try to minimize the use of the alert system to significant outages or emergencies.
With that in mind, we discovered that many subscribers who asked for phone notification were not actually answering the call because an unknown number would appear on their caller ID. To fix that, we got into the system and found a way to have the caller ID for our SwiftReach calls be labeled as “City of Kent.”
With winter right around the corner, hopefully that tweak will fix that problem.