Monroe County EMA urges Code Red sign-up

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Ryan Weber, Monroe County EMA Director

Monroe County and all of its local communities provide emergency phone notifications. Since its inception in 2010, the Code Red system has continued to improve, including the ability to better pinpoint residents affected by severe weather or other emergency as it approaches.

In addition, notifications can be sent via cell phone, text and email.

In light of recent storms and with winter approaching, the Monroe County Emergency Management Agency office issued a reminder for residents to sign up for the Code Red alert system. For those who have previously signed up, now is a good time to update information on the Code Red database.

There is no fee to sign up for this service.

Monroe County EMA Director Ryan Weber said many citizens questioned officials earlier this month as to why they were not notified of a tornado warning during the recent severe storm. While the county’s alert system has improved, it also requires the cooperation of the public, he said.

To receive severe weather alerts, the EMA reminds citizens to register contact information into the Code Red system.

For citizens who have not registered, Code Red has a database of landline numbers provided through the phone service. Code Red sends out (via a phone call) certain basic emergency or general notifications to residents on that database that the EMA or the cities initiate. Per government rules, they cannot initiate alerts, including severe weather alerts, without first getting your permission.

The EMA and municipalities are urging folks to take a minute to go to the county or municipal website and get registered with Code Red to receive all emergency and severe weather alerts.

To register or update your information, visit www.monroecountyil.org or your municipal website and click on “Code Red Weather Warning” located on the center of the screen. Once there, you will be asked general information, including the phone numbers and email addresses where you would like to receive notifications.

For those without computer access, call the EMA office at 939-8681, ext. 231.

The system also has the capability to send out text messages. If you would like to receive text alerts (in addition to a phone call), the website requires you to input the name of your cell phone service provider. Code Red recommends using this option, because cellular technology can send out text notifications quicker than phone calls.

The Code Red website also allows you to customize alerts you wish to receive and by which means.

The Code Red weather alert system is an additional service that works in conjunction with one provided by the local communities, Weber said. Each municipality has a database of phone numbers and emails.

Towns and villages often send out alerts for events such as boil water orders, power outages, or storm debris pick-ups. If you register via any municipal or county Code Red system, you will be put into the correct database based on location of residence.

 

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