City-wide notifynow test happening Thursday in Saskatoon

Watch above: Saskatoon’s Emergency Measures Organization is holding a notifynow test on Thursday. Ray Unrau has what you need to know about the test. 

SASKATOON – People will receive a test on a mass notification system on Thursday to help the city notify them of impending or escalating emergencies. Saskatoon’s Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) wants to familiarize subscribers with what a notifynow message will sound like when an actual catastrophe occurs.

EMO’s Director of Emergency Planning Ray Unrau says the purpose of this test will check to see if people have signed up correctly, to check how it works in the evening and to get more people signed up.

Around 8,500 have signed up for notifynow.

“The test will give the EMO a vital opportunity to evaluate the features and functions of the notifynow system in a non-emergency situation,” said Unrau.

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Testing is expected to start at 5:30 p.m. and last about two hours. Around 90,000 notifications will be sent to all four city quadrants, one at a time.

Thursday’s test will use two contact databases. The first contains all of the information listed in the 2013-14 SaskTel phone book.  The rest consists of subscriptions entered by people who have ‘opted in.’

EMO is working with SaskTel to ensure massive quantities of phone calls will go through without jeopardizing the integrity of the system.

Saskatoon’s notifynow was launched in March and underwent testing during the morning of May 7. All 5,326 people who had signed up for the service in the spring received a notification.

READ MORE: Saskatoon launches new mass notification system – NotifyNOW

If a notification is not received Thursday, people should create an account. Notifications can be sent by text, phone and/or email, depending on preference.

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