Wondering if the latest snowstorm has prompted a city wide parking ban? Now there’s an app to check.
Earlier this month the City of Portland launched a new mass notification system for residents which sends immediate alerts via email, text or phone call to everyone who signs up on the city’s website. So far about 20,000 residents are signed up for the notifications.
To get these notifications, you’ll have to provide your name, phone number and email address on the CivicReady page of the city of Portland’s website. For access on your cell phone, download the AlertMe-Regroup app from the app store and login using that same email address.
Once inside the app users will be able to customize what kind of notifications they receive from the city on their phone and create a profile that ensures they receive information relevant to their neighborhood.
Routine notifications will include city news, upcoming events, and alerts on road closures and construction projects. Emergency notices like parking bans, severe weather or flooding alerts, changes to trash collection, traffic or accident reports, and public health alerts will also be sent through the app.
City spokesperson Jessica Grondin said that she pushed for the city to adopt the new system because it saves the city “several thousand” dollars over the old notification system and also offers notices in seven different languages, which she considers “really important” in serving Portland’s diverse residents. Grondin says, according to the feedback she’s received, that residents are most appreciative of the parking ban notices.
“We wanted to launch it well in advance of the first snowstorm,” said Grondin. “But thankfully we haven’t had a parking ban yet.”
The system also provides the city the technology to send out messages to every cell phone in the Portland area — even ones beyond the subscriber base — should there be a disaster or extreme emergency.
“However, that’s extremely unlikely,” said Grondin. “We’d have to meet federally designated criteria to send alerts of that kind.”