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The City Journals

Being prepared in an emergency is important, but knowing about it matters most

Apr 15, 2019 03:14PM ● By Jennifer Gardiner

Sign up to receive alerts via text, email or phone (Courtesy Salt Lake City)

By Jennifer Gardiner | [email protected] 

In February, contaminated water in Sandy City caused a massive amount of concern for its residents, not just for those who had been drinking the water but the manner in which many felt city leaders let them down by not communicating with them sooner. 

Once city officials decided to let the community know, it created an entirely different set of issues; not everyone received the emergency alerts city leaders said they sent to everyone in the affected area. 

So, what does that mean? It means that officials in Utah cities and counties as well as in the state all have ways in which they notify the community of an emergency. If you are not signed up for those alerts, you could miss out on very important information. 

Tami Moody, spokesperson for Herriman City, said one of the challenges of having a community that is prepared for emergencies is ensuring the members of the community are able to receive that information. 

“Herriman City offers an alert system that allows residents to sign up for emergency alerts and other important community news,” Moody said. “Our program enables the city to provide critical information quickly for various situations such as severe weather, evacuations, law enforcement issues and fire alerts. 

Moody said signing up for an alert system allows the community to receive information faster which can be critical in some situations. 

“When time is of the essence, sending the information directly to someone’s phone provides more people will receive the notification and be able to respond,” said Moody. “Currently, Herriman City has more than 950 people signed up to receive emergency alerts, and more than 1,200 have signed up to receive various alerts regarding City information.”

Herriman has just under 40,000 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.

A list of state, county and city resources are listed below for those wishing to make sure they can be notified in case of any emergency.

State of Utah 

You can sign up for any state emergencies such as Amber Alerts, Earthquake, Fire, Air Quality, Consumer Recall and Protection Alerts. Heath, travel, traffic and wildlife alerts are also available. 

You can sign up for any of the alerts you feel best fit your need at https://www.utah.gov/alerts/

Salt Lake County

Salt Lake Valley Emergency Communications Center has instituted a regional emergency notification system for Salt Lake County. Located in West Valley City, VECC is a consolidated 9-1-1 dispatch center that serves all communities in Salt Lake County with the exception of Salt Lake City and Sandy City. 

The service provides a way to send telephone, SMS text and email notifications regarding emergency situations or critical public safety information directed toward those that are impacted by, or in danger of being impacted by, an emergency or disaster and delivers information and instructions regarding emergencies, disasters or critical information under the authority of the responding agencies.

To register your information for alerts from VECC, please visit vecc9-1-1.com/voip-registration/.

Bluffdale City

You can sign up for emergency alerts through the Bluffdale City Website bluffdale.com/list.aspx.

There are also city social media accounts for Bluffdale which use the alerts. If available, information will be given there at www.facebook.com/bluffdalecity/ (Bluffdale City, Utah) and twitter.com/bluffdalecity (@bluffdalecity).

Herriman City

To register for the text/email alert system, you can go to public.govdelivery.com/accounts/UTHERRIMAN/subscribers/qualify

For social media communications, residents can follow Herriman City on Facebook and Twitter at facebook.com/HerrimanCity/ and /twitter.com/HerrimanCity (@herrimancity)

They also use the reverse 911 system to notify residents of emergencies in their area. 

Riverton City

Residents can subscribe to the email service at rivertoncity.com/subscribe.

For push alerts, you can download the Riverton Connect mobile app at   rivertoncity.com/app. For social media communications, residents can follow Riverton City on Facebook and Twitter at facebook.com/rivertoncityutah and twitter.com/rivertoncity (@rivertoncity).

For more information about emergency notifications, go to rivertoncity.com/departments/communications/emergency-notifications.php.

Texting Service where residents can opt-in will soon be available.

South Jordan

There’s a reverse 911 system in the city to notify people directly. To make sure your phone number is registered, please visit www.vecc9-1-1.com/voip-registration/.

South Jordan will be putting together a campaign to get people signed up for the 911 alerts they have.

City leaders said they use Ipaws (www.fema.gov/integrated-public-alert-warning-system) and post on their social media accounts: Facebook (www.facebook.com/cityofsouthjordan/) and Twitter (twitter.com/SouthJordanUT) @southjordanUT. 

City leaders also said they will try to get the information out through their local law enforcement and through radio and television news outlets. 

South Jordan officials will be putting together a campaign to get people signed up for the 911 alerts they have.