Saskatchewan releases emergency alert app

The new SaskAlert app will alert you via smartphone when extreme weather an emergencies are developing.

A year after there were wildfires and mass evacuations across the north, the government of Saskatchewan has launched an emergency alerting app — SaskAlert — and a website.

“Public safety is one of the highest priorities of our government and in just the last couple of years alone, you’ve seen some extreme examples of that,” Government Relations Minister Jim Reiter said Monday. “We’re all familiar with the wildfire situation.”

The app will push notifications to iPhone and Android phone users alerting them to emergency events in their area.

Blackberry will be adopting an Android operating system, but as it stands around 97 per cent of the smartphone-using public will be able to download the app.

Close to a third of towns, municipalities and First Nations have signed up to use the app to issue emergency notifications.

If the past is any indication, a number of extreme weather events could happen in the months ahead.

For example, just this weekend 100 millimetres of rain fell on Lampman, causing flooding.

There are three levels of alert: critical, advisory and test.

Mieka Cleary, deputy commissioner of emergency management and fire safety, gave the example of a boil water advisory, which could explain how to make sure water is safe.

Reiter explained that after the evacuations and wildfires last year the province started focusing on a new way to broadcast emergency information.

On Monday, the day the app officially launched, there were no active alerts in the province

The app is now available for download at the Apple App Store and Google play.