Grant County Public Utility District (Grant PUD) customers will now be able to receive text alerts on their cell phones whenever power or fiber internet outages occur.

A recent upgrade to the Everbridge Emergency Alert System, which is used in Grant County to send texts to the public regarding things like evacuation orders and hazardous situations, has allowed the utility to use it for sending the outage notifications.

"We've been trying to find a text alert system for a long time," says Grant PUD spokesperson, Christine Pratt. "We tried a system called 'Whisper' a couple of years ago but it was kind of cumbersome to manage on our end of things and didn't really catch on. But the Everbridge system is one that people are familiar with already and a lot of our customer base is already a part of it, so there's no need for us to do a massive transfer of their contact information."

Grant PUD will utilize Everbridge to notify its customers whenever there's an outage affecting 100 or more homes and business.

KW3 logo
Get our free mobile app

Pratt says the system will also allow the utility to only notify those who are specifically being impacted by an outage.

"Before, when we were only using social media to notify our customers, let's say there was an outage near the (Larson Air Force) Base area in Grant County. We would have to send an outage alert to everybody in that general area of Grant County. But with the Everbridge system, we can pinpoint the number of people who are affected and exclusively send messages to them."

Residents who are already receiving emergency alerts through Everbridge will be automatically enrolled to get outage notifications but can opt out at any time.

Chelan and Douglas Counties recently announced they were switching to the Everbridge system for disseminating emergency alerts.

It's currently unknown if the Chelan and Douglas County PUDs will follow Grant PUD's lead to also soon begin offering text alerts regarding power and fiber-optic outages.

More From KW3