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Granite Shoals unveils new alert system

Granite Shoals citywide notification system

A QR code posted at Granite Shoals City Hall leads to the Everbridge phone app, which will let residents sign up for the city’s new notification system. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Granite Shoals residents now have access to a new mass notification system for citywide alerts. Officials presented information about the Everbridge software during a City Council meeting Tuesday, Jan. 10. It will allow the city to send out rapid alerts to signed-up residents about emergencies, other important news, and community events. 

To sign up for the notifications, download the Everbridge phone app and log in using your location. Scannable QR codes are posted across Granite Shoals and on the city’s social media pages. People who need help setting up the app should call 830-598-2424.

Notifications can be sent via text, email, or automated call or through the Everbridge phone app, depending on user preference. Alerts will be for serious weather events such as tornadoes or flash floods, city-specific issues like power outages and waterline breaks, or events such as GraniteFest and Splash Day. Users can set “blackout” windows, during which they will not receive notifications unless they are in reference to an extreme emergency.

“We cannot thank the city enough for finding the funds to make this happen,” Granite Shoals Police Capt. Chris Decker said during the council meeting. 

The city has been looking for ways to communicate mass information more effectively and efficiently for years, according to Decker. A three-year Everbridge software license cost the city $5,400. Funds were pulled from the police, fire, and administration budget lines.

“The program itself is exceedingly deep, and the future uses for this for the city and our citizens boggle my mind,” Decker said.

Anyone can sign up for the Granite Shoals notifications, so out-of-town landowners and family members can keep up with what’s going on in the city, Decker said.

“This is something that even over the last four months we would have liked to have had, so that we could have sent information to our residents,” Interim City Manager Peggy Smith said.

Recent trash bin replacements, water line breaks, and traffic incidents are perfect examples of how the software will benefit the city in the future, said Smith, who predicted it will be used several times a month.

If in use at the time, the alert system would have been critical during the 2018 flooding of the Colorado River and the 2021 winter storm, Decker said. 

dakota@thepicayune.com