City’s CodeRED Adds Winter Weather Option - The Missourian: Local News

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City’s CodeRED Adds Winter Weather Option

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Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 8:00 am | Updated: 7:43 pm, Sat Jun 22, 2013.

St. Clair area individuals who are utilizing the CodeRED warning system may add another alert by updating their account.

City Administrator Rick Childers told The Missourian earlier this month that CodeRED has added winter storm warning notifications to its early weather alerting system. The additional warning has been added to the tornado, severe thunderstorm and flood warnings subscribers already can access.

“Winter storm warnings are sent to residents through text and email moments after an alert is issued by the National Weather Service,” Childers said. “These notifications are only available to those who will opt into the system for them. Any residents who have previously registered through your link will not (automatically) be subscribed. They would need to re-enter their information and select to receive the warnings.”

To update an account, individuals need to visit the city’s website and click on the CodeRED weather warning link.

CodeRED

In January 2012, the city started using the CodeRED emergency notification system.

The system has a twofold purpose — to serve as the communications when the city needs to pass along pertinent information to its residents as well as to inform people through the NWS when inclement weather is in the area.

The two notifications are separate systems. Both services are free to residents.

In August 2011, the St. Clair Board of Aldermen unanimously voted to accept a proposal from CodeRED to provide the message system to citizens.

Childers and Mayor Ron Blum had been seeking a way to let individuals know about potential severe weather in the area as well as provide a way to transfer information to residents on updates, projects, advisories and other significant things that directly affect them. Bids from various companies were received and reviewed with the recommendation being to go with CodeRED.

The aldermen’s approval was for a three-year contract not to exceed $6,700 per year for the system. CodeRED’s bid included $2,500 annually for the weather notification through the National Weather Service and $4,200 per year for the city’s ability to alert residents.

Childers said he had four things specifically in mind when seeking to provide the city with an emergency notification system: to be able to generate a NWS alert of severe weather that does not first have to go through city staff, that a portal will be placed on the city’s website allowing citizens to opt in or opt out of utilizing the service, having some kind of staff-originated mechanism to use for city advisories, and some assistance in creating an initial database.

Using a call system, individuals receiving the information must have a land line phone, a cellphone or a computer.

CodeRED’s proposal stated that the web-based service was designed specifically to enable local government officials to record, send and track personalized voice, email text and social media messages to thousands of citizens in minutes. A NWS message also can be transmitted to those outlets giving people specific types of weather warnings.

Having an improved notification system first came up earlier in 2011 when a water line break forced the city to issue a boil advisory. There were complaints from some residents that they did not know about it.

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