County weather sirens are no more: CodeRed will remain
By: Shayla Terry
In December, community leaders throughout Crenshaw County met to be introduced to a new emergency notification system, CodeRed. Since then, the system has been implemented throughout the county in hopes to bring better emergency coverage.
“When we were introduced to the CodeRED system, it was a communications system that had emergency built in,” Crenshaw County Commission Chairman Charlie Sankey Jr. said. “It was notifications that could be modified. You can actually pinpoint where you give notice to.”
According to Crenshaw County Emergency Management Agency Director Elliot Jones the current weather notification system the county has relies on alerts from 26 weather sirens, which have a coverage radius of approximately one half mile during bad weather.
This means that only about 20 square miles of coverage is supplied for the 611 square miles of Crenshaw County, which is only two percent according to Jones.
CodeRED is not for just weather notification. It covers an array of emergency situations.
“With the CodeRED system, Crenshaw County will be able to inform residents and visitors (via use of the system and the CodeRED Mobile Alert app) of weather related events, as well as other time-sensitive activities including escaped prisoners, local crime alerts, missing persons, boil water notices and more,” said Teri Friedler, Marketing Director for Emegency Communications Network. “With CodeRED Weather Warnings, residents may customize the types of alerts they wish to receive and elect their preferred methods of communication.
This ensures that residents can receive these life-saving notifications wherever they are physically located within the county (indoors, outdoors, etc.) and receive the notifications in the manner in which they prefer, such as a phone call, text message, email, etc.”
The Crenshaw County Commission will not reinstate the sirens, but will work to ensure that citizens are more knowledgeable about CodeRed.
“I do know there were some gaps in communication,” Sankey said. “We are in the process of getting together a mass mail out to all of our citizens.”
Since the April 3. macroburst, CodeREd as saw an increase of over 500 sign ups.
To sign up for CodeRed citizens can get a registration form from all City Halls in Crenshaw County, as well as by visiting the Crenshaw County EMA office.
Residents can also go online and type in “Public Code Red Web” and click on the sign-up link or simply click on the link that is supplied on the Crenshaw County EMA Facebook page.
“All residents have to do is fill out the form, and send them in to the office,” Jones said. “We will do everything we can to get everyone signed up.