Prince William County is moving to a new emergency alert notification system, which means that people who currently subscribe to the Prince William Community Alert Network (PWCAN) need to sign up again to continue to get the alerts warning of events such as bad weather, natural and manmade disasters. The county is moving to the new system, which will be provided by a new vendor, Everbridge, to keep standardization with other jurisdictions in the region. The regional system is funded by a federal grant from the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI).
According to a presentation recently given to the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, the new system has some advantages over the current system. Subscribers to the new system will be able to receive voice messages in addition to text and email alerts.
Users can also designate their primary means of notification and acknowledge when the message is received. Additionally, subscribers will be able to input multiple addresses located in the county, such as home, work and daycare, in order to receive geo-targeted alerts regarding those areas.
People who are currently registered to receive PWCAN alerts will get messages through the system advising them on how to sign up for new service. Those who would like to continue to receive emergency alert notifications from Prince William County government must register their devices by Sept. 4, 2014. The old system will not work after Sept. 3, 2014. New users who wish to sign up for the alerts can visit pwcgov.org/pwcan
Prince William County government offers the PWCAN as a free public service that will be used in conjunction with other public notification methods, such as the Prince William County Government website, the County’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/pwcgov
), the County’s Twitter account (www.twitter.com/pwcgov
) and area media.