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Pembroke takes to Twitter, in case of emergency 0

By Stephen Uhler, OBSERVER MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST

Pembroke's manager of economic development, recreation and tourism

Pembroke's manager of economic development, recreation and tourism

Pembroke residents now have another way to get up to date information in the event of emergencies.

The city has set up a Twitter account which will be dedicated to getting the word out whenever disaster strikes. @PembrokeEmergency will provide its followers notice on the latest news of road closures, outages, and any other important knowledge.

Speaking to the city's emergency management program committee on Tuesday, Susan Ellis, economic development, recreation and tourism manager, said Twitter is a quick and easy way to get messages out about emergencies, and it is something they should engage in as yet another communications tool.

"Its immediacy is the strength of it," she said. "It's public information of the moment."

Ellis said Twitter has become one of the chief ways for people to communicate quickly, and she suggested the committee, as well as those in City Hall, should get used to it.

"It's a public tool you need to get comfortable with, or you'll be left behind," she said.

Access to the @PembrokeEmergency account for the purposes of posting will be restricted to certain City Hall personnel, in order to ensure the information posted there would be accurate and reliable. Ellis said they will also be following other Twitter accounts which would be related to emergencies, such as the OPP and emergency services.

"The people I want to follow are those whose decisions will affect me in an emergency," she said.

Over time, it is hoped the new account will attract followers across the area, who would then help to pass on any information found there. This would set up an alternative communications network so the municipality would have the means to get the word out in times of emergency.

Stephen Uhler is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist

stephen.uhler@sunmedia.ca

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