On March 14th the Vermont Disaster Animal Response Team’s (VDART’s) Board of Directors voted to adopt Vermont Alert (VTAlert) as its official emergency notification system. The system can issue alerts about pending disasters, weather conditions, traffic and road issues, public health notifications, and countless other issues or events that could affect Vermonters or their loved ones. VTAlert is based on the belief that a major key to preparedness is having up-to-date information.
This web-based system, which is hosted and maintained by the Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, provides a portal by which information can be disseminated by state and local authorities to the public, including schools and colleges, state, local, and federal government, and first responders. The system will not only allow us to activate our volunteers for real-life emergencies, but also for drills and training exercises.
VDART will be requiring all of its volunteers to register for this free service at http://vtalert.gov. This will allow them to sign up for and receive notifications through a number of delivery systems such as text, e-mail, telephone, or game console. Users will create accounts, chose their local area, select what types of alerts they wish to receive, and identify which delivery system they wish to use to receive those notifications.
“We’re tremendously excited about the possibilities that this notification system holds for our trained animal responders here in Vermont,” said VDART board chair Joanne Bourbeau. “By working in cooperation with state officials and other response agencies, we will be better poised to respond quickly and effectively across the state to assist with animal needs in the face of disaster.”