New alert system available


Highland County EMA offering CodeRED

By Jeff Gilliland - jgilliland@timesgazette.com



Highland County residents will soon have a new option to receive alerts about emergencies, missing persons and other community events.

Through an existing contract with OnSolve LLC, the Highland County Emergency Management Agency will begin Jan. 1, 2019 delivering public safety alerts through the company’s public safety app of choice, the CodeRED Mobile Alert.

The app, a free download on the App Store and Google Play, will allow Highland County residents and visitors to receive free emergency, missing person and community alerts via push notifications directly to their iPhone and Android devices.

David Bushelman, Highland County EMA director, said the new platform will serve as an additional tool to help inform the community and visitors about important information that may impact their safety.

“If you have the app downloaded and are in an affected area of the alert, a notification will be sent through the app to alert you of the issue,” Bushelman said.

He said the app will not notify local residents of tornadoes or other storms unless they want to pay for that service, since most people already receive those alerts in some other manner. But it will allow residents to receive notification of weather advisories — if the EMA office decides to issue one — hazardous material events, etc.

Residents who have enrolled for the CodeRED system will continue to receive voice calls, text messages and emails. However, the app is designed to keep users safe and informed while on the go.

“The app is unique because, for example, if we have a Highland County resident who is traveling to another state that also uses the CodeRED system, they will receive any community or emergency alerts from that specific area while there. It’s just one additional means to stay safe when you’re away from home,” Bushelman said.

In addition to the emergency, community and missing children alerts, which are always free to app users, the app also offers subscribers a free, 30-day trial of CodeRED Weather Warning, which alerts users if they are in the direct path of a severe thunderstorm, tornado or flash flood. Users have the ability to select the types of weather notifications they want, and to customize the app based on their unique preferences, according to Bushelman.

“With the added weather component, you don’t have to be worried about missing a tornado siren or watching a weather report. The app will alert you immediately after the National Weather Service issues a severe weather warning, no matter the time of day,” Bushelman said.

He said users would have to pay for that service after the 30-day trial.

Bushelman encouraged residents to download the app to begin receiving notifications from Highland County immediately. The app is available for a free download on the App Store and Google Play.

For more information or to download the CodeRED Mobile Alert app, visit http://ecnetwork.com/codered-mobile-alert-app/.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.

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Highland County EMA offering CodeRED

By Jeff Gilliland

jgilliland@timesgazette.com