Thurston County and Thurston 911 Communications — in partnership with the cities of Lacey, Olympia, Rainier, Tenino, Tumwater, Yelm, and the Town of Bucoda — have launched a new emergency notification system called Thurston Community Alert. Introduced as part of an effort to increase safety and preparedness within the community, the new program is now the official notification system of the county.

Thurston Community Alert, which can be accessed here, allows residents to set notification preferences and opt into a variety of notification lists.

“Our number one priority during an emergency situation is community safety, and this is a great tool to provide crucial and timely information to citizens,” Emergency Management Coordinator Sonya Kroese said in a statement. “Across the County, Thurston Community Alert is the first means of communication to the public in the event of an emergency.”

Launched alongside the new notification system is Smart911, an online service that lets users create a “Safety Profile” of information they want first responders to have in the event of an emergency. That information could include allergies or special needs, and is automatically given to the dispatcher when 911 is called.

“Smart911 saves critical time in an emergency and has proven to save lives nationwide,” Keith Flewelling, Thurston 911 Communications Executive Director, said in a statement. “The additional information provided in a Smart911 Safety Profile can help us respond faster and more efficiently.”

Residents can also sign up for Smart911 separately here.