Louisville mayor unveils new citywide emergency alert system [The Arena]

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Code Red

When he was running for mayor, Greg Fischer promised to implement a new citywide system to keep citizens updated during emergencies, and today he unveiled the new Code Red network and encouraged citizens to sign up for the free service.

The system uses a variety of methods — text alerts, emails and phone calls — to warn citizens about potentially life-threatening events, including severe weather. 

“The Code Red system is easy to use and gets information to people quickly so they can protect themselves and their families,” Fischer said. “The explosion at Carbide Industries in Rubbertown last spring revealed the need for fast, efficient communications and this technology is a giant leap forward.”

Citizens may choose which types of alerts and which delivery methods they wish to receive. Fischer encouraged citizens to especially sign up for text alerts since they are quick and citizens generally always have their cell phones with them.

On Oct. 26, citizens whose telephone numbers are already in various city databases will receive a phone call alerting them of the Code Red system. These calls will serve as a test of the system and will also encourage citizens to sign up for the service online.

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There are three types of alerts:

Emergency notification - These are the highest and most urgent of alerts in which there is immediate danger to life and health. An example of an emergency alert would be a chlorine leak from a rail car. All phone numbers in city databases will receive phone calls, texts or emails when there is an emergency, regardless of if citizens have signed up with Code Red.

General notifications -  These are alerts to help warn the public of potential dangers. The Carbide incident would have fallen into this category because citizens near the plant were not in immediate danger. Citizens must sign up to receive these alerts.

Severe weather notifications -  These are to warn citizens about tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flash flooding and other weather bulletins. These alerts are sent directly from the National Weather Service, allowing citizens to be alerted about danger at the same time as the weather service alerts MetroSafe. Citizens must sign up to receive these alerts.

Citizens who do not have access to computers or the Internet may visit public libraries to sign up for Code Red. Citizens who cannot visit the library may call MetroCall 311 and have a city employee enter their information into the system. MetroCall will be helping citizens sign up for Code Red every weekday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Code Red system will be fully operational Friday, October 28th.

CLICK HERE to sign up for Code Red now.

CLICK HERE to see frequently asked questions about Code Red (PDF).

WHAS-11's Joe Arnold reports:

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Louisville.com's The Arena section features opinions from active participants in the city's politics. Their viewpoints are not those of Louisville.com (a website is an inanimate object and, as such, has no opinions).

 

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