CodeRed alert system helps keep residents safe

By Tyler Kes
Staff Writer

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It is important to be aware of emergencies before they happen, which is why the Twin Counties have set up the CodeRed emergency telephone system.

The system notifies those who have signed up as soon as possible in the case of an emergency, said Butch Beach, Edgecombe County director of emergency services.

“The CodeRed system is a cooperative between Edgecombe County, Nash County and Rocky Mount,” Beach said.

“It alerts you to emergencies. For instance, Rocky Mount has used it for a 
couple of missing persons.”

One of the aspects of the system that made it attractive to the counties is the ability to select different geographical regions for notification, Beach said.

For example, if there is heavy flooding in Tarboro, then only the people in Tarboro will be notified, not everyone in the database.

The system has been in place for about four or five years, Beach said, but the counties really began looking for a something like it after Hurricane Floyd.

“After the Floyd hurricane of ’99, we wanted a way to alert people living in the flood plains so we could evacuate them or make them aware,” Beach said.

The system alerts everyone who has a listed number, Beach said, so the only people who need to sign up for it are those with unlisted numbers and people who use cellphones as their primary form of communication.

Ever since Hurricane Floyd, Beach said the counties have kept an eye on the Tar River to avoid serious flooding.

“Floyd was probably a 500-year flood and it probably won’t happen again, but we still watch it,” Beach said.

The department stays in contact with the National Weather Service and is notified a couple of days in advance if it looks like the river is going to start flooding, Beach said.

To register for the service, residents of Edgecombe County can visit edgecombecountync.gov/code.aspx and residents of Nash County can go to http://www.co.nash.nc.us/list.aspx.