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EMA looks at new alert system

August 15, 2014

BY JOSH PRESLEY
news@dailytimesleader.com

City and county officials are looking to bring a new weather and emergency notification system to residents in the community. The Code Red system is a mass information system designed to enable local government officials to record, send and track personalized messages to residents within minutes.
Clay County Emergency Management Director Kerrie Gentry-Blissard said officials in the county wanted to institute a new notification system, and looked at three different vendors: Code Red, CivicReady and Everbridge Unified Critial Communication Suite.
“Everbridge is not in Mississippi and CivicReady has very few systems in Mississippi,” Blissard said. “Code Red is well-represented in the state and partners with the National Weather Service in Jackson, plus other regions in Mississippi have utilized its services.”
She said Code Red has a contract with the NWS to intercept its notifications, and sends the information to residents who are in the path of the storm via phone or email, depending on which service the individual opted in to.
“In addition to weather notifications, Code Red also sends out warnings for Hazmat situations,” Blissard said. “They can plot the affected area and notify anyone in that area whether or not they need to evacuate, stay indoors or just to let them know there’s been an incident.”
Blissard said Clay County EMA took the prospect of using Code Red to the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District as a way of sharing the cost of the program.

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