Alert system is OK’d
WHITMAN — The Board of Selectmen approved an emergency notification policy and authorized Fire Chief Timothy Grenno to sign the Sachem Rock Regional Emergency Planning Zone By-laws at its Tuesday, July 21 meeting.
Grenno explained that the new notification policy, which is used to alert townspeople about emergency and nonemergency events, makes it clear which town departments are authorized to notify the public about which events, and ensures the notification will be reviewed by at least two people before being sent out.
These notifications might include where to park cars during extreme weather, alerts about accidents or reminders about town events.
Whitman Emergency Officials partnered with CivicReady to create the new emergency preparedness and mass notification services for citizens, whitman-ma.gov/ready, which was launched at the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.
Selectman Daniel Salvucci worried that residents may stop paying attention to notifications if they receive too many.
“We need them to listen,” he said.
Grenno agreed, saying the system is designed so that residents can choose which types of notifications they want to receive, so some can cut down on clutter if they only want to receive emergency notifications.
People can choose the way in which they are notified, as well, including by telephone, email or traditional mail. Town Administrator Frank Lynam drafted the system with Grenno and said it is “quite robust.”
He added that the messages are limited to one minute each, which should encourage people to take the time to listen to them.
The CivicReady system allows public safety officials to communicate with citizens quickly and efficiently before, during and after an emergency. Citizens can sign up to receive alerts via email, SMS (Text Messaging), voice calls and all messages broadcasted will be available on the Town of Whitman social media sites. FEMA-sourced emergency preparedness content is easily accessible to citizens to keep our community informed in the event of an emergency.
The Fire Chief and Police Chief’s monthly reports were postponed until the August Selectmen’s Meeting.