Union city officials are urging Union residents to update any contact information changes to the weather alert notification system as the severe storm season draws near.
City Administrator Russell Rost said a test is planned for the city’s CodeRED system to let people know if they will be notified during an alert,
“We want to remind people that the spring storm season is upon us and it’s time to take a minute to update telephone contacts,” he said.
The test will be conducted Monday, March 30, at 11 a.m. Anyone in the coverage area who does not receive a call and had signed up for the service should update their information.
Those not enrolled in CodeRED can sign up at any time. There is no cost to residents to sign up or use the service.
People may visit www.ci.union.mo.us/ and click on CodeRED Warning listed on the left side of the screen, and then follow the instructions to update numbers or sign up for the service. If there are issues signing up online, people may call city hall at 636-583-3600 for assistance.
Rost noted that people also may check to see what notifications they are signed up to receive.
There are 6,974 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.
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.
There also are 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.
“To me it’s the best source for weather warning and other warnings as well,” he said.
CodeRED has been used to inform parents of baseball and softball rainouts too.
Six 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.
Rost said the contract expires at the end of April, and the city will soon review a new proposal from CodeRED that includes additional features.