The City if Burnaby is researching options for a notification system to alert residents in case of an emergency or natural disaster.
The call for an emergency notification system has mostly been coming from residents living around the Chevron refinery, some of whom have been pushing for community alerts for years.
North Vancouver already has a notification system in place, where people can sign up to receive phone messages in the event of a disaster, and Richmond is setting up a similar system.
Last year, the NOW reported that Chevron was in discussions with the city about setting up a system, and the company offered to foot part of the bill.
The plan now lies in the city's hands, and deputy manager Chad Turpin said Burnaby is very interested in the idea. The system needs to be cost-effective and far-reaching, not just for possible events related to Chevron or Kinder Morgan, he added.
"It has to be able to be applicable to the whole city, and we have to have confidence the vast majority of people will be notified, whatever we put in," he said.
Charmaigne Pflugrath, the city's emergency program coordinator, has been researching a notification system for years, trying to keep up with changing technology, and reporting back to the city's emergency management committee, which then decides on priorities and makes recommendations to council.
Pflugrath characterized the emergency notification system as a small piece of a very complex puzzle, and the cost of software alone could range from $40,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Pflugrath regularly reports to the city's emergency management committee, which decides on priorities and them makes recommendations to council, but it's not clear when the notification system will materialize.
"It's our quiet little passion project," she said. "Any time you can add a tool to enhance your capacity to communicate with the public it's a good thing."