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The City of Norman to test new emergency preparedness system on Thursday

The test of the City of Norman’s new emergency preparedness system is 7 p.m. Thursday. The system, called Blackboard Connect, is for communicating with residents and business owners during emergencies and for important notifications.

In the event of severe weather alerts in the Norman area Thursday, the test will be rescheduled for May 5 at 7 p.m.

Last month city officials asked residents to register their contact information and preferences to receive the communications which includes information and notifications related to public safety emergencies, parks and recreation events, and other City outreach messages.

The service can send email and text messages (SMS) to mobile phones. Messages can also be sent to Text Telephone (TTY/TDD) devices for people who are hearing impaired.

Primary residential and business phones in Norman that are publicly available are automatically included in the system. These phone numbers typically include landline numbers but not the cell phone numbers that have become the only phone numbers for more and more residents.

To ensure that the City has the most up-to-date contact information, including cell phone numbers and email addresses, residents can visit the City of Norman website (www.normanok.gov), click on the link “Sign up for City notifications” and provide their complete contact information. Users will automatically be enrolled for public safety emergency calls when they sign-up, but they can also sign-up for parks and recreation and City outreach messages.

Users can manage their message preferences by indicating their preferred mode of contact, language and message topics. This includes signing up for notification by email addresses, cell phone voice services, and/or cell phone text messages. Blackboard Connect users can also download the Blackboard Connect app on their smartphone or tablet device by searching for the term “Blackboard MyConnect” at the app store on their device platform.

Those without Internet access are encouraged to call the City of Norman Action Center at (405) 366-5396 to provide their current information. Residents with call blocking services should add (405) 321-1600 to their approved number list to ensure they receive important notifications from the City.

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