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Fri June 20, 2008
<B>City of Commerce to implement<BR>Emergency Notification program</b>
By Scott Harvey
Commerce – The City of Commerce is now offering an Emergency Notification program to local residents. The Immediate Response Information System (IRIS) is a high-speed notification and response service, electronically sends routine, priority and emergency messages from city officials to contacts throughout the community.
Message recipients get the facts of any given situation using the communication devices they select. IRIS can act as an emergency response system or a routine message distributor. IRIS sends alert message to thousands of recipients in about 30 seconds and reaches recipients by telephone, cell phone, digital pager, wireless PDA device, email and or computer.
The City of Commerce plans to use the IRIS system as a communication tool to residents for notification of such instances as severe weather, tornado threats and or other emergencies. In addition, this service can be used as notification for possible utility outages, water curtailments, road closures and maintenance.
The cost for this service will be $6.00 per year. This charge will be a one-time charge billed to your water account in September of each year. All residents will be enrolled in this program unless the City is otherwise notified by the September deadline.
The City will begin by taking the database of water customers and uploading this information into the IRIS System Database. Each subscriber will be given a username and password and will be able to login to the system and update all of their information for notification purposes.
For those residents who wish NOT to participate will need to notify City Hall and sign a waiver stating that they do not want to participate in the notification program before September 1, 2008.
Local businesses and residents living in Apartments or who do not have water accounts in their name are eligible to participate in this program as well, for the same cost. In addition, residents living on the outskirts of Commerce are also eligible. In order for these individuals to subscribe they will need to come to City Hall and fill out an application.
The City of Commerce plans on implementing this process by July 1, 2008. City Officials will test the system for a period of two months to allow residents the opportunity to get accustomed to the notices and allow them to set up their accounts. Beginning on July 1 residents may go to www.irisdispatch.com to enter their contact information. For those who do not have access to a computer you may contact the number listed below or come to City Hall and fill out an application.
The user name will be the resident's last name and the password will be the account number from their water bill. Once the account has been accessed residents can change the password to suit their needs. City Officials and personnel will NOT have access to the usernames and passwords. By giving the residents access to their own accounts, it will enable them to change any notification information as needed.
The City of Commerce encourages everyone to participate in this program. We truly believe this is an efficient way to notify and protect our residents. For further information you may contact Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Harrison or Emergency Management Secretary Marty Cunningham at 903-886-1126.