Call system helps alert public


Staff Writer

Monday, January 15, 2018

Last week’s snowstorm serves as a perfect reminder that Twin Counties residents should be signed up for the Code Red calling system, according to local emergency officials.

“Code Red allows residents to get emergency messages at appropriate times,” said Edgecombe County Manager Eric Evans. “It allows us to quickly reach residents with important information during an emergency.”

The automatic-dialing telephone calling system for mass emergency notifications lets residents and businesses know what is happening with one call blasted to every number programmed into its memory bank. So within minutes of an emergency or a potential hazard, the system calls every number — even leaving messages on voice mail, answering machines and cell phones.

The system can also warn of dangers — such as approaching storms — beforehand. The system also can select different geographical regions for notification.

So if there’s an emergency in Nashville, only people in that town would be notified instead of everyone in the database, said Brent Fisher, assistant director of Fire and Rescue Services and Emergency Management for Nash County Emergency Services.

The system alerts everyone with a listed number, but so many residents are now relying on cellphones as their primary number they might be falling through the notification cracks.

Residents are urged to register their unlisted and cellphone numbers. The system uses geo-coding from address points. So if an emergency message is sent and an address is within the polygon, then all numbers listed to the address point will receive the message.

To ensure someone is receiving the important, potentially life-saving notifications through the system, they need to register cellphones and other emergency contact numbers. To register in Edgecombe County, visit the Code Red page on the Edgecombe County Website at www.edgecombecountync.gov/code.aspx. To register in Nash County, visit www.co.nash.nc.us and look for the Code Red logo along the right-hand side of the page.

Residents need to enter their name, address and emergency phone number. Business owners and operators must put the word “Business” in the first name field and the complete business name in the last name field.

Up to two additional emergency phone numbers can be added for residences and businesses. The Code Red button needs to be clicked and names or business names and addresses need to be entered for each emergency contact.