City-wide Emergency notification system sought in Commerce

Scott Harvey

Commerce – The City of Commerce plans to implement a city-wide emergency alert system to better inform and warn citizens. During a special meeting Tuesday, the Commerce City Council gave approval toward moving forward with the IRIS notification system. It's the same system that's been used by the Police Department for the past year and a half.

Commerce Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Harrison says this will enable the city to send out messages of anything from severe weather to community events, all at a very low cost to citizens. Each message can be sent to up to three phones and two emails per subscriber. That covers cell, home and work phone, plus work and personal email.

Messages can also be color coordinated to decipher the severity of each message. For instance, a message reminding citizens of the annual Bois d'arc Bash would be labeled green and only be sent to your email. Messages advising citizens of a tornado warning would be labeled red and be sent to all phones and emails in each person's account.

Currently, Commerce has three forms of emergency notification: Radio, television and outdoor warning sirens. The IRIS system adds to the possibility that residents will not only receive emergency notifications, but in some cases at a quicker rate.

Harrison expects the system to be up and running within a month. At this time, officials are still in the process of gathering information and creating a way in which citizens can sign up. KETR will bring you that information as soon as it becomes available.

Click the MP3 icon to listen as Commerce Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Harrison explains how IRIS works and its different capabilities.