New alert system looks to give residents upper hand when emergent situations arise

A new emergency alert system is geared at saving lives in and around Yorkton.

The Voyent Alert app and notification system has been operational for the last recent while, with a soft launch back in the spring. The system allows the City of Yorkton to communicate to either individual areas in the city, or the city en masse.

The app will include any emergent situations, such as a severe thunderstorm, a tornado, a flash flood, down to things like snow clearing and water main breaks.

“It's another tool in our toolbox. We don't expect people to rely solely on this, but it is a huge step up from where we were, so that you can be notified. And you know, we'll do our due diligence to get all that information out to everybody,” said Yorkton Fire Chief Trevor Morrissey.

“It gives us the ability to notify our citizens of anything from emergencies to non emergencies, points of interest, just things that we need people to know.”

The city’s soft launch included the late spring snowstorms Yorkton experienced. Morrissey said he heard positive feedback from those who had the system in use, helping a few people make the decision to stay home and stay off the roads.

The app is available on the Voyent Alert website, downloadable in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, but also works for landlines and email — it’s fully customizable, based on the needs of residents. It is free to download or sign up for, and promises to make a difference for residents living in Yorkton.

For Yorkton Mayor Mitch Hippsley, it’s a game changer.

“Not everyone's a Facebook user, and this will come straight to your phone, again. And you don't have to go looking. It'll be so easy to access that you will be in the loop, immediately — you'll know what's going on in your city,” he said.