What is Alert Waterloo Region?

Alert Waterloo Region is a service that allows you to receive important public safety messages in the event of a large scale emergency such as a flood, severe weather, or other emergency situations.

The service can deliver notifications to your preferred devices via telephone, cell phone, text message, and email.

When a notification is issued you will receive a message via voice, text or email depending on how you chose to receive notifications.

Where do these notifications come from?
All cities and townships within Waterloo Region and the Waterloo Regional Police Service have partnered with the Region of Waterloo to provide this service.
How do I sign up?
  • If you are a hydro customer within Waterloo Region, the primary phone number listed with your local hydro company will receive a phone call notification without having to sign up.      
  • To receive a notification to a secondary phone, text message, or e-mail address you will need to create a personal profile.  You can also sign-up family members and indicate their preferred method of receiving AlertWR notifications.
Will I still receive notifications if I don’t sign up?
If you are a hydro customer within Waterloo Region, the primary phone number listed with your local hydro company will receive a phone call notification without having to sign up.
What do I do if I receive an AlertWR notification?

Periodically, the system will be tested.

If you receive a test notification:

  • Do not call 911. Leave the emergency lines open for those who need immediate assistance.
  • Do not call the call centres. Call centre lines may quickly become overwhelmed.
  • You may be prompted in your notification to confirm that you have received the message. This should keep you from receiving any further notifications from that test.

If you receive a real emergency notification:

  • Listen/read the message carefully. Instructions will be given and further follow up notifications may also be sent.
  • Do not call 911 unless you require immediate emergency assistance. If you get an emergency notification regarding a situation in your area, the 911 systems are already aware of the situation and very busy. Leave the lines open for those who may need immediate assistance. Follow the notification instructions.
  • Stay tuned to local media for emergency information and updates.
What should I do if my contact information changes?
If your contact information changes, it is your responsibility to update your information. Make sure you update your contact information with your local hydro company as well.
Will I receive notifications if my device is off or set to silent mode?
If your device is off, you will not receive the alert.  If you are using a wireless device that is set to silent you will not hear the notification but will still see the alert as an incoming call or text message.
What if my contact information changes?
Your contact info in AlertWR is only as good as the information you provide. If your contact information changes, you can update your contact information. Don’t forget to update your contact info with your hydro company.
How do I register if I do not have access to the internet?

You can sign up using free internet services available at your public libraries or you request a paper form from your local municipal office.

How do I stop receiving notifications/opt out?
You can opt out of receiving these important emergency notifications by updating your profile. To delete your hydro contact information, please contact us with your request to be removed from receiving emergency alerts. 
What if I don’t receive a notification?

Not all notifications will be sent to everyone if they do not affect the area around your registered address. When an emergency is affecting a specific area, the unaffected areas of the municipality may not be notified if it is not considered a threat to their safety.

Additionally, advanced notifications may not be possible for sporadic emergencies that come without warning. For example, some tornadoes form without accompanying severe weather. Another example is being unable to warn of a sudden explosion. However, in such cases, the system could provide notification of actions to take afterwards such as avoiding affected areas.

Disclaimer

When the emergency notification is activated, the system is intended to make several attempts to reach the registered numbers. Due to the emergency, phone systems including land line and cell service may be inundated with calls and your provider may not be able to deliver the message. We do not assume legal responsibility for technical difficulties that may result in notification failures, or for your failure to receive any emergency notification. In addition, we are not responsible if the contact information we have for you is outdated or inaccurate. We collect information for this system from a variety of sources, including companies providing hydro services within the Region. If you would like to ensure we have the correct contact information for you, please update your information.

Technical questions
  • Pre-paid wireless users: if you are on a pre-paid cell phone plan you may need to adjust your phone settings to “allow messages from short code senders” to ensure your phone receives texts from the system.
  • If you have subscribed for email alerts: Add the email address: noreply@everbridge.com to your preferred email contacts so notifications aren’t sent to your spam/junk email folder.
  • If you have subscribed to receive phone call alerts the call will come from phone number: 519-000-0000. If you are using a wireless device add this number to your contact list to immediately identify it.
  • If you have subscribed to receive text message alerts all AlertWR text messages will come from the following number: 89364.  Add this number to the contact list in your wireless device so you can immediately identify the incoming text message.
How is AlertWR different from the national Alert Ready emergency alerting system?

A national service: Alert Ready is a national emergency alerting system. Alert Ready delivers emergency notifications to Canadians through television, radio and LTE-connected and compatible wireless devices. Notifications are administered at a national level and may not be specific to Waterloo Region.  In the event that an emergency occurs in Waterloo Region you may receive a message from both Alert Ready and AlertWR.

A local service: AlertWR is a local service that allows subscribers and hydro customers in Waterloo Region to receive important public safety messages in the event of a local large scale emergency.

The service is able to deliver notifications to your preferred devices via telephone, cell phone, text message, and email.

Doesn’t my community already have a local emergency alerting system?
Woolwich has a Community Alert Network that can send messages via phone to registered citizens. The communities of Wilmot and North Dumfries are also partners in this network. AlertWR replaces the Community Alert Network.
How does this system affect the sirens in Woolwich?
Woolwich Township uses sirens to alert residents in addition to AlertWR. Woolwich residents can still expect to have siren notifications in emergencies. 

Contact(s)