Hart County residents can be notified of severe weather through CodeRED, a reverse 911 notification system, if they have signed up for it.
The service is available to county residents who wish to receive information regarding thunderstorm, flood or tornado warnings through calls made to either their land line phones, their cell phones or by messages sent to their e-mail accounts.
Hart County has had the system in place for about a year.
“We had spent all of our available funding on outdoor warning systems and a lot of our outdoor warning systems had become obsolete due to their age and efficiency,” said Kerry McDaniel, emergency management director for Hart County.
He said outdoor warning systems can only reach individuals who are within a certain radius or hearing distance.
“We wanted to go to something where we could attempt to reach a lot more individuals,” McDaniel said.
CodeRED is also more economical. One outdoor warning siren costs about $25,000, he said.
Since the county has made CodeRED available, McDaniel has heard a lot of compliments about the system.
“Currently, we have about 2,000 individuals who have signed on to CodeRED and we would like to reach an additional 5,000,” McDaniel said, adding that would enable nearly ever household in the county to be reached through the system.
Monroe County also utilizes CodeRED.
“We’ve tried to advertise that pretty hard,” said Tommy Willett, judge-executive.
Monroe County joined other counties in obtaining grant funding for the system because of Wolf Creek Dam having been determined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a high risk for failure. The dam impounds the Cumberland River, which runs through Monroe County and could cause heavy flooding if the dam were to fail.
“We were just a rider on that grant,” said David Rich, emergency management director for Monroe County.
The county has outdoor warning sirens, but only at volunteer fire departments in Tompkinsville, Gamaliel and Fountain Run. With CodeRED, more people can be reached in the event of bad weather.
“It’s just an opportunity for people in the area to be more informed when there is inclement weather or any disaster in the area,” Rich said.
Barren and Metcalfe counties utilize a similar system called Codespear and has had it in place for about four years.
Residents’ home phone numbers are automatically programmed into the system, but they can ask for their cell phone numbers to be added.
Emory Kidd, emergency management director for Metcalfe County, uses Codespear about five to six times a year.
It was used earlier this year to locate a missing person.
“The night we had an escaped convict in Edmonton we used it,” Kidd said, adding it was helpful. “It got the word out to people.”
The system has also been used to notify residents of road closures.
“Missing persons is the main use for ours,” he said. “We can use it for storms. We have not, but we can.”
The system can be used to send a message to all residents who have signed up for it, or it can be used to target a specific group of residents.
In Barren County, Codespear is often used as a back-up dispatch pager for the Glasgow Fire Department.
“Most of the time we use it for missing persons,” said Tony Richey, emergency management director for Barren County.
Both services are available free of charge. For those in Hart County, who would like to sign up for CodeRED, they should go to www.coderedweb.com. Barren and Metcalfe County residents should go to https://barrenmetcalfe.smartmsg.com, and Monroe County residents should go to www.R911SignUp.com.
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