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Jun 05 2012

CodeRED Warning System is Ready for You

The Vicksburg and Warren County CodeRED alert systems are both online and ready for you to register.

The CodeRED alert system is designed to inform you of emergencies arising from situations such as man-made or natural disasters in your immediate area.  The notifications will come directly to your phone but only if you choose to register for the program.

Warren County Emergency Management Agency Director John Elfer said that there are some folks who’s numbers are automatically registered in the system but could not confirm how many people that could be.

Elfer explained the system in a pretty simple fashion.

“Lets say that a truck carrying hazardous chemicals overturned on a roadway here in our area,” said Elfer.  “All we [Emergency Management staff| have to do is draw a circle on the map and everyone within that area will receive a phone call with a recorded message about the spill and what they should do to protect themselves.”

Elfer says that anyone who signs up for CodeRED alerts has the opportunity to customize the notifications that they get.  People registering their phone number(s) on the site can choose to receive weather warning notifications, which are automatically issued from the National Weather Service, but you can also choose opt out of those notifications.

When I opened my e-mail this morning and saw the notification from Mr. Elfer, I immediately went to the link on the Warren County website and signed up for the service.  The process was easy and pretty self explanatory.  There was a hitch with my sign-up, as I had signed up previously and could not remember my username and password, but that was resolved quickly and easily by contacting the Emergency Communications Network technical support people at 866-939-0911.

The system is based on your address, so you’ll need to register with the Warren County CodeRED or the Vicksburg CodeRED system, dependent upon whether you live in the city or the county.  You can find all that information and the links below.

The phone calls that come in from CodeRED are from toll-free numbers and there are some folks who may be a little wary of answering those types of calls.  The folks behind the program have thought that through and have dedicated numbers for each type of warning.

You will know the call is from CodeRED when your Caller ID displays one of the following three numbers.  I would suggest programming them into your phone, if you have that option, in order to keep yourself straight on what number is calling you.

866-419-5000 or Emergency Comm for Emergency Notifications
855-969-4636 or ECN Community for General Notifications
800-566-9780 or Emergency Comm for CodeRED Weather Warning Alerts

If you would like to hear the last message delivered to your phone, simply dial the number back.

There are some limitations to the registration process.  There are some people who may want to have alerts come to their phone for both their home and business locations.  This is not possible at this point in time.  You can register only one address per phone number.  The up-side to that is the fact that you can register multiple phone numbers for each address.  That means that you can register your home line, your cell phone, your wife’s cell phone and all of the kids’ phones on one account.  Everyone with a registered phone will receive notifications for that address.

During the registration process, you will be asked if the phone is a mobile phone and if it is, you will be asked for your cellular provider.  You can choose to receive SMS messages from CodeRED, but understand that – dependent upon your plan – you may be charged for receiving the messages.  CodeRED does NOT charge to send the messages and most providers allow you to receive emergency alerts for free.

Those of you wishing to sign up for the alert system can do so by using the links below!  What are you waiting for… Get to it!

CLICK HERE if you live in the Vicksburg city limits.

CLICK HERE if you live in Warren County.

Those of us with an iPhone or Android phone can download an app to help us stay informed while we’re on the go.  Just scan the QR code on the side of the screen to access the app.

The app is free to download and is ad supported.  It’s easy to use and employs your phone’s GPS technology to send you the warnings that are pertinent for the area you’re in, not your home address.

I downloaded the app a little while ago and found it very easy to navigate and that’s saying something. I’m not a smartphone kinda guy… I’m old school as far as computers go and am not a big fan of the smartphone. I constantly have to ask for advice on how to use this new iPhone. That being said… I think most people could figure out the CodeRED app.

 

 

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