Borough to test emergency alert system beginning Wednesday

The Kenai Peninsula Borough will be testing its new emergency alert system this week, the Office of Emergency Management said in a release Monday.

KPB Alerts, which was first rolled out at the end of April, replaced the 20-year-old Rapid Notify system after multiple problems with the emergency response system were reported following January’s 7.9 earthquake and tsunami warning.

The system wasn’t able to handle the volume of alerts that needed to be sent out in the immediate aftermath of the quake, and didn’t have the ability to text well, according to previous Clarion reporting.

The flaws left some people in coastal communities without any warning at all of the potential disaster, while others in areas outside of the tsunami danger zone — like Kenai, Soldotna and Kalifornsky — got emergency alerts.

The KPB Alerts system features a number of new tools, including the ability to make geographic-specific notifications, send texts and quickly send out automatic alerts to landlines, cell phones and social media platforms.

Testing of the new system will begin Wednesday and continue through Friday.

During the test, residents will receive an automated phone call to landline and registered mobile phones. The call will contain a recording indicating that the call was a test and that no action is necessary. Most residents will receive calls on Wednesday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Residents of the Borough can register their address and phone numbers online at http://alerts.kpb.us to receive alerts. Alerts are sent via phone call and text message, and are also posted under KPB Alerts on Facebook and Twitter.

— Staff

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