April 23, 2014 6:30 pm

Communications vulnerability exposed during Saskatoon power outage

Massive power outage on Easter Monday exposes vulnerability while city improves Saskatoon communications procedures.

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SASKATOON – Following a massive power outage on Easter Monday the City of Saskatoon is moving towards preventing future problems with communications.

The outage caused the city’s website, Saskatoon.ca, and e-mail systems to go offline, forcing the information technology (IT) team to restore services.

Power was restored to all areas of the city by 10:40 a.m.

Watch the video below: Ice, humidity blamed for widespread power outage in Saskatoon

With a new city website in motion, the IT division has already started creating an alternate online location to access information. These data centres will function as a backup for Saskatoon.ca and corporate email.

“This will work along with other digital information sources, such as Twitter and Facebook,” says Catherina Gryba, the city’s corporate performance general manager.

The city says an emergency generator from the old Police station is being relocated to City Hall.

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Monday’s outage also identified vulnerability with the Saskatoon Fire Department’s radio communications, which were lost for 20 minutes.

“The Fire Department will be reviewing its protocol for switching to a more basic radio system during momentary outages,” says Morgan Hackl, assistant fire chief.

Hackl said this is an example of why people should sign up for the NotifyNow, an emergency notification system that will allow people to receive information via text message, voicemail and email.

READ MORE: Saskatoon launches new mass notification system

NotifyNow will be given a city-wide test run in May.

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