Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

October 2, 2012

Code RED system to be replaced

New alert system allows more options, notifications

By Bob Belcher
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — Keeping informed of vital emergency information will become easier this month.

Navarro County and the city of Corsicana will switch from the “Code RED” alert system to a new multi-platform Navarro County/City of Corsicana Alert Notification System powered by Everbridge, a nationally utilized system that will allow for more notification options and new ways to receive information.

The change is taking place on Oct. 26, according to Eric Meyers, Navarro County’s emergency management coordinator.

“We’ve been looking a different systems for months now,” Meyers said. “We wanted to be able to go to a ‘single system.’”

While both the city and the county utilized the “Code Red” system, it required separate activations and separate messaging for inside the city and outside. The new system gives emergency officials for the city and county far more flexibility to either pinpoint messages, or send alerts to broad areas.

And, citizens can pick their own level of options and alerts they’d like to receive from the system.

“Burn ban notifications, road closures, crime alerts, community alerts, or missing persons,” he said, are the different kinds of messages citizens will be able to select or include in their notifications from the system, among other non-emergency items that can be programmed.

“When they create their own account they can ‘opt-in’ to these messages,” he said. No data from the old “Code Red” system will be used by the new system.

The new software will also allow for the emergency agencies in the city and county to have specific call-outs for its personnel as well — via cell phone, email, telephone — up to seven devices.

“This system allows almost every department in the city to put out non-emergency type notices to the community,” McMullan added. “We couldn’t really do that under the Code Red system.”

McMullan said more people being able to interface with the system, and no monthly limits placed on outgoing messages — one downside of the Code Red plan — make the new alert system a better option for use by local authorities.”

The new system is set to go live on Oct. 26, along with a new look for the Navarro County OEM website, Meyers said, with a direct link for Navarro County/City of Corsicana Alert Notification System. The new website will be streamlined with new information and be easier to navigate for users, with “real-time” weather from local weather stations, burn ban information, links to the OEM Facebook page, and more.

The Navarro County Office of Emergency Management is also now on “Twitter” and can be “followed” with the Twitter handle @NavarroOEM to follow messages from the agency.

Meyers is the county emergency management coordinator. McMullan is the city’s emergency coordinator.

—————

Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com