The county invested in a system called Code Red. This system is designed to notify residents of weather warnings issued by the National Weather Service. The notifications cover only warnings, such as tornado or severe thunderstorms, but does not alert for watches.
Code Red alerts residents that are in the path of the storm only. All residents will not be notified by the system if they do not reside in the area the storm is predicted to affect. For example, if a tornado warning showed on radar with the National Weather Service for the northern part of the county, residents in Ridgely and other areas would not receive the alert from Code Red.
This system was researched by the county and EMS/EMA Director Jack Mauldin prior to the investment. Benton County, TN has had the system in place for approximately a year. They reported it as a great system and believe it has saved lives. They had a severe storm a short time after launching the system, and the notifications, they think, gave people extra time to prepare for it.
It is true that current technology allows everyone the option to watch radar on TV or on cellphone LIVE coverage, and general alerts may appear on our phones. This system, however, tells each resident exactly where a storm is in relation to their place of residence in real time, narrowing the expected area to be affected and doing so much more quickly. It eliminates a lot of the uncertainty about the exact expectations of a storm or if the path changes. If you’re driving or working outside or have just seen a warning for the county in general, this can alert you to the fact that your residence is in the path.
These alerts can be phone calls (cell or landline), text messages, or multiple points of contact. An app is available for all cell phones as well. All county residents that want to take advantage of this notification system must register at https://www.onsolve.com/landing/sign-up-for-codered-emergency-alerts/