The City of Charlottetown is urging citizens to sign up for its alert system so they're aware of vital information in case of an emergency.

The free alerts are available via text, phone or email, and let residents know information such as if there's an evacuation and where the closest emergency shelter is — or if severe weather has caused flooding and how to avoid the area. 

Fewer than 1,000

"It's slower than we anticipated," says Tim Mamye, Charlottetown's deputy fire chief. 

The city has been trying to get subscribers since June but fewer than 1,000 have signed up, Mayme said. Charlottetown's population is about 35,000 people. 

"You never know when you might benefit from it so we encourage as many people as possible to contact the city," Mamye added.

PEI Firefighter mental health 1

Fewer than 1,000 residents have signed up for the alerts, says deputy fire chief Tim Mamye. (Rick Gibbs/CBC)

The system also provides routine messages like community events, traffic advisories or when the city expects plowing to be done.

"We've had members go door to door throughout the city, knocking on doors leaving door hangers," he said, speculating that residents didn't see the need for such notifications during the summer months. 

How to sign up

To sign up, go to the city's website charlottetown.ca and click on the Charlottetown Alert System. For assistance, give call city hall at (902) 629-4000 from 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays for help with the process. 

Residents can opt out of the system at any time, Mamye said. 

With files from CBC Radio: Mainstreet PEI