After an EF2 tornado hit the Hazelwood area on April 10, 2013, and caused wide-spread damage to residential homes and commercial properties, City officials began an extensive and thorough evaluation and review of alerting systems in order to do a more effective job of communicating with local residents during emergency situations. The City of Hazelwood has made the decision to implement the CodeRED system, a high-speed emergency notification service provided by Ormond Beach, Fla.-based Emergency Communications Network.
The CodeRED system will serve as the backbone of Hazelwood’s emergency planning and communication outreach to both citizens and City personnel. This system is capable of sending telephone calls, text messages, emails and interacting with social media sites in an effort to effectively inform residents to protect life and property. CodeRED, in comparison to other available notification systems, was chosen because of its unrivaled reliability and accuracy, as well as the system’s global use.
“CodeRED’s robust system will provide us with a reliable, easy-to-use interface to quickly disseminate critical information to our citizens during emergencies. We are very eager to use this advanced technology to enhance our emergency preparedness plans,” said Hazelwood Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director Dave Radel. The City anticipates using the system to notify residents of threatening weather, floods, drinking water emergencies, snow storms, earthquakes, fires, and missing children alerts.
All Hazelwood residents are encouraged to visit the City’s website at www.hazelwoodmo.org and look for the CodeRED banner ad at the bottom of the home page. They will be asked to enroll by giving their names, street addresses, text and email addresses, home phone numbers, cell phone numbers and notification preferences.
Chief Radel cautioned that such systems are only as good as the telephone number database supporting them. “If your phone number is not in the database, you will not be called,” he said. “One of the reasons why we chose the CodeRED system was because it gives individuals, families and businesses the ability to add their own phone numbers directly into the system’s database, and that information is immediately available to us in case we need to contact them regarding an emergency.”
CodeRED allows geographically based delivery, which means street addresses are required to ensure emergency notification calls are received by the proper individuals in a given situation. “The system will send phone calls to landlines and cell phones, as well as text messages and emails, so we need our citizens to enroll their information and select their notification preferences,” Chief Radel explained.
Residents are also encouraged to download the CodeRED Mobile Alert app to receive the City of Hazelwood’s emergency, general and missing child public safety alerts directly on their smart phones that are specific to their geographic location. The CodeRED Mobile Alert app may be downloaded on iTunes, Google Play or by visiting http://ecnetwork.com/mobile/getitnow.html.
City of Hazelwood Urges Residents to Sign-Up for CodeRED — A day after an EF2 tornado hit the Hazelwood area on April 10, 2013, Hazelwood Mayor Matthew Robinson escorted Missouri Governor Jay Nixon through some of the damage. Launching the CodeRED emergency notification system will enable City officials to be better prepared to effectively communicate with residents when emergency situations occur.