NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — There’s a new way for New Bern residents to learn about noteworthy events happening around the city.

The city recently launched a free alert messaging system called New Bern Alerts.

More than 25 city employees in 10 different departments utilize the system. Colleen Roberts, New Bern’s public information officer and one of the app’s four administrators, said there’s always someone in house to send alerts and monitor the platform.

“It’s everything from city events, to street closures, to when your trash and recycling service is sometimes delayed based on holidays. Or if we do have storms come through,” Roberts said.

Officials put the system to the test last week in emergency and non-emergency situations.

“We were able to connect with people via text, email, and also by voicemail through telephone calls. So it did work for us last week. It just so happened that the platform was brand new, and we didn’t have a lot of users on it yet,” said Roberts.

Roberts said there were around 55 users subscribed during the events last week. Now, there are over 400. Aside from emergency and non-emergency alerts, the app allows users to interact.

“If a hurricane was headed for New Bern, we could send out a message, for example, encouraging people to evacuate. And we could attach a poll to that message saying, ‘Do you need assistance evacuating from your residents? Type one for Yes, or type two for no.’ And we’d get all those responses back,” Roberts said. “And we could use those locations to be able to identify where we needed to schedule pickups.”