Emergency Alert System For Phones - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/4/2007-East Texas

Emergency Alert System For Phones

When severe weather hits we are all aware that the outdoor warning sirens go off, but many inside can not hear the sirens. That is why both Jacksonville and Tyler joined CodeRED, a system that notifies citizens by phone. It is helping people be safe and aware of things in their own neighborhood.

CodeRED is high speed phone service available for emergency notifications. It can deliver customized pre-recorded messages directly to your home or even your cell phone. 

"CodeRED is going to give us an opportunity to notify people so quickly. In the old way we would have to contact people like on a evacuation we have to go door to door." said Neal Franklin, Tyler Fire Chief, "Whether it be a level one or a level two emergency."

Level two incidents are extended utility outages, major water or sewer breaks, delayed trash pick-up, and road closures.

Level one emergencies are severe weather, terrorism related emergencies, hazmat emergencies, drinking water contamination, and to issue an Amber Alert. Sending a pre-recorded message with the child's description to the exact area where the child went missing.

"This is just another way of being redundant in contacting the citizens when we have an emergency. This is a change that we can make sure that they get that message."

And it is fast, at a rate of one thousand calls per minute they can contact sixty thousand people in one hour.

A CodeRED call shows up as (999)911-9999, and will leave a message.

Information helping to make East Texans informed and potentially safer . If you live in the Tyler or Jacksonville city limits and your number is listed you are automatically signed up for CodeRED. If your number is unlisted or you want to add your cell phone all you need is an address in the city limits. It can even be your work address.

Don't worry your number won't be sold or given to anyone else, and you cannot opt out.

Longview has a similar system called W.A.R.N. (Wide Area Rapid Notification) that they have been using for five years for emergencies. It used for severe weather and missing children and can also select a specific area of the city to call. However, the W.A.R.N. system will only call listed phone numbers. They plan to in the future include cell phones, and unlisted numbers.

Gregg and Harrison Counties also has a similar system called FirstCall that specifically calls citizens of affected areas and warns them of chemical type releases or evacuations.

Danielle Capper, Reporting. dcapper@kltv.com


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