Emergency Management and Fire Commissioner Duane McKay beside Government Relations Minister Jim Reiter speaking on the new app in Regina Monday morning.

Dealing with disasters and providing up-to-date information to Saskatchewan residents just got a little easier with the launch of a new smart phone app and website.

The “SaskAlert” app can be tailored to your own personal needs and it’s free.

Government Relations Minister Jim Reiter and the province’s Director of Emergency Management, Duane McKay, gave reporters a run-through on how the system works and why people should hook up during a demonstration at the legislative building today.

Reiter is encouraging everyone to download the app so people can take immediate action to protect themselves and their families.

“Public safety is one of the highest priorities of our government, “ Reiter said. “In the last couple of years alone, we have seen some extreme examples of that.  Last summer, of course, we are all familiar with the wildifire situation — and the year before there was an extreme amount of flooding generally on the east side of the province.”

McKay says last year’s wildfire crisis demonstrated the need for one source of information that could be relied upon and trusted.

“It’s just something we noticed last year during all the wildfires, there were a lot of rumours swirling around,“ he said. “So we really needed to come up with a way to say this is the real information.  So this site will give you verified information and trusted information.”

About a third of the communities in the province have signed up for the app — including several First Nations. They will use the service to provide emergency alerts on behalf of their residents.