The City of Victoria has launched a new alert system to let residents and businesses know about major emergencies in the area.

Vic-Alert is a subscription-based service for people who live and work in the city. It will send information about imminent threats, such as severe weather, power outages and tsunamis, to subscribers. AMBER alerts and local incidents that affect specific areas of Victoria will also be shared.

Th emergency notices will be either city-wide or sent to targeted areas. The city said this will be helpful for neighbourhood-specific emergencies like gas leaks or evacuations.

Vic-Alert users will be able to choose whether to receive the notifications by text, email, phone calls or a combination of the three. Individuals can also register their family members as well.

Due to BC privacy laws, notifications can only be sent to a phone or by email after someone grants permission. The city says all personal contact information will remain confidential and won’t be used for anything else.

The cost of the service is $5,000 per year and is paid for by Connect Rocket, a Vancouver-based company.

Visitors can also sign up for the service. To register for Vic-Alert, which is free for subscribers, visit VictoriaReady.ca.

Alexa Huffman