City officials said now is the time for residents to sign up for emergency notification system so they are notified of severe weather this spring.
City Administrator Russell Rost said there are 5,933 phones belonging to residents in the city and Union Fire Protection District that are signed up to receive CodeRED notifications. Some people receive calls on both home phones and cellphones.
Rost said CodeRED has been useful about warning warn people to take cover during severe weather.
“In Missouri over the past few years the storms have been very severe,” he said. “We have already had winds this year reported at 70 mph during winter months, and we have had a lot of roof damage.”
Rost added that now is a crucial time to be notified of storms.
“We’re now entering the time of year where it’s important to be alert for severe weather,” he said.
The alert system notifies residents through a phone call of severe weather, other emergencies or important announcements.
Rost said that some residents would prefer not to receive phone calls for each severe weather situation, but users can pick and choose when they are notified.
There are options to allow text messages, emails or phone calls to cellphones, or home phones.
There also is an option to receive messages for tone delivery devices for the hearing impaired.
Last year, new features in the city’s emergency notification system allowed for text messages and emails to be sent.
The texts to cellphone, or emails, can be sent through the CodeRED program during emergencies or for informational purposes.
CodeRED notifications also can be sent to specific areas to warn residents of boil orders or other emergencies.
The city soon will conduct an “all call” to test the numbers receiving CodeRED notifications.
Five years ago, the city began using CodeRED and in 2011, the fire district entered into a joint agreement with the city to offer the service to its residents.
Union was the first city in Missouri to utilize the system. Other cities, including Washington, began to follow in Union’s footsteps and began implementing the system.
CodeRED receives weather broadcasts from the National Weather Service (NWS), while en route to television and radio stations.
Sign-up is free and is only required with one of the entities.
The city’s severe weather alert calls are triggered by the NWS.