Corvallis’ emergency notification system, Corvallis Alert, is moving to a new platform.
Public safety officials use Corvallis Alert to warn the community about police and fire activity, road closures, natural hazards, and other communications.
In September, Corvallis Alert is switching from an alert system known as Nixle to Everbridge, a platform used by agencies throughout Oregon, according to a news release. Everbridge is also used by the Linn-Benton Alert system. Nixle is owned by Everbridge, a larger and more comprehensive alerting system.
Despite that, the move requires current Corvallis Alert subscribers to create a new account. Accounts won’t be transferred automatically. It’s free to sign-up. Users can customize their alert preferences, and alerts can be sent via text message, email, text to speech, telephone call, voicemail, as well as several other options.
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Corvallis community members understand the value of emergency preparedness, Public Information Officer Patrick Rollens said.
“We emphasize this at the neighborhood level by encouraging families to take simple steps, like making an emergency plan and making sure they’re signed up for alerts from the city of Corvallis and Benton County,” Rollens said.
The city’s alert system launched in 2019 through Nixle. Rollens said the annual subscription cost to the city was roughly $9,900, and Everbridge will cost much less, though he couldn’t give a precise figure. The move to Everbridge was made possible through a subsidy from the state.
“After the Labor Day 2020 wildfires, state leaders recognized the value of subsidizing access to a statewide notification system,” he said.
The state contracted with Everbridge to provide service to any city or county in Oregon that wanted in, at a significantly reduced cost, Rollens said, prompting Corvallis to jump on the opportunity. He noted many other cities and counties in Oregon are also transitioning to Everbridge.
“The end goal is that we will all be sharing a common alerting system, which provides a better experience for people in Corvallis and throughout Oregon,” he said. “You don’t have to be signed up for a bunch of individual systems.”
When they sign up for Corvallis Alert, local subscribers also will be automatically signed up for Linn-Benton Alert, which is operated at the county level.
“By moving to this new platform, we can give Corvallis community members a more consistent experience that will improve communications citywide,” Corvallis Emergency Planning Manager Dave Busby said in a news release.
For more information, go to www.corvallisoregon.gov/corvallisalert.
Cody Mann covers Benton County and the cities of Corvallis and Philomath. He can be contacted at 541-812-6113 or Cody.Mann@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter via @News_Mann_.
“After the Labor Day 2020 wildfires, state leaders recognized the value of subsidizing access to a statewide notification system.” Patrick Rollens, Corvallis PIO