Public Notification System
What is a Public Notification System?
A public notification system can quickly and effectively notify residents by calling your home phone, cell phone or work phone, sending a text, and/or emailing you important information or instructions.
When will it be used?
The system will be used to notify Bowen Island residents in the event of disasters or events that may impact your safety and well-being, such as earthquakes, wildfires or hazardous spills. The system may also be used to give you important instructions, such as evacuation routes, shelter-in-place instructions or neighbourhood notifications.
The system will be tested once annually, usually around ShakeOut in October.
How do I register?
You need to opt-in to the system by registering. Please ensure cookies are enabled in your browser in order to use the registration form.
How do I update my account or cancel my registration?
Please return to this site to update your account if your address or contact information changes or if you would like to opt-out of the service. You will also get an annual reminder to review and update your information. From your account, you can modify the order in which the devices will be activated.
Why do you need so much information?
Only those fields with a red asterisk (*) beside them are required. There is no need to enter your latitude and longitude; this information will automatically be entered if you enter an address. Entering your address allows the Municipality to send messages using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology: essentially, the system can message an area selected on a map, or within a certain radius of a point on a map.
What can I expect when I receive a notification?
When the system sends a notification, it will make multiple attempts on each device you selected until you confirm that you have received the message. Instructions to confirm will be delivered in the message. If you do not confirm, the system will continue to attempt to reach you on the other devices you selected at the time of registration.
If you have a rotary phone, you will be able to listen to the message, but you will not be able to respond to it: you are only able to confirm/respond using a touch-tone phone.
Will I get the notification if my phone is set to "do not disturb"?
Some cellular phones allow the user to save important numbers so that they break through any do not disturb settings: if your phone offers this feature, you can save 844 791 8366 for phone calls and 26311 for text messages.
What if I don’t sign up?
You will only receive notifications if you register for this service. During an event, information will still be available to the general public from the Bowen Island Municipality and local media coverage.
Bowen Island Municipality has an active Emergency Management Program and will continue to be a vital part of any response to an emergency in your area. Learn more about your Bowen Island Emergency Program.
Will my contact information be shared?
No personal information will be shared with external agencies. The information you provide is confidential and will only be used by Bowen Island Municipality for notification purposes. Your information will not be given or sold to any other vendor or organization. All personal information is stored on servers located inside Canada.
How can I learn more about the system?
The system is powered by ERMS, a Canadian company that provides Public Notification System services to businesses, communities, and government agencies across Canada. All data is stored in highly secure tier 4 data centres in Canada.
What is my username?
Your username is your unique identifier that allows you to access to the system. You will need this username to login to the system later to make changes (for example if you move, or your phone number changes). Your username can be any combination of letters and numbers, but may not contain special characters.
What is a PIN?
Your PIN is your personal identification number, also known as a password. You will need this PIN to login to the system later to make changes (for example if you move, or your phone number changes). Your PIN can be must be a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 15 letters or numbers.
How do I 'opt-in' to receive text messages on my cel phone?**
After you've registered, send a text to the number 26311 with the text "ERMS START" in order to receive text messages from the system.
**SMS (text messages) are not guarenteed to be sent or delivered** Message and data rates may apply.
What is the difference between BowENS and AlertReady?
AlertReady is the Federal/Provincial Wireless Public Alerting (WPA) system designed to deliver critical and potentially life-saving alerts to Canadians through television, radio and wireless devices. This system does not require sign-up. BowENS is the notification system operated by the Bowen Island Municipality to notify you of any incidents that hit closer to home, and requires users to sign-up. Note that the WPA will take precedence over notifications you will receive from the Municipality, as required by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). For more information, please visit the CRTC website.
Having problems registering?
If you need help registering, please call Bowen Island Municipality at 604-947-4255.
Last Updated on 2020-08-12 at 3:25 PM