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CODE RED

CITY OF MANSFIELD'S

EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEM

 

 

Check out the city's emergency notification system at ---- http://www.mansfield-tx.gov/ps/em/codered.php .  Given that we don't have a siren system for emergency awareness, this phone notification system is a super idea.  See below for additional information on CodeRed. 

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April 13, 2008

Fellow HNP Block Captains (others blind copied);
 
Regarding Mansfield's CodeRED Emergency Notification System, check out the following message from a HNP resident on Elliott (forwarded by Block Captain Christy Harris of Logan) that happens to an Assistant Fire Chief for Mansfield.  It's a good message ---- thanks Eric!   
 
Below Eric's message is a Star Telegram article dated April 11th that provides additional info about CodeRED.
 
Greg Ajemian
Heritage Neighborhood Partnership
 
 

Sent: Friday, April 11, 2008 8:15 PM
To: Harris, Christy
Subject: Re: CodeRED Emergency Notification System --- available for Mansfield residents

 
The key is to be knowledgeable about the weather and the importance of this service.  When the weather forecast places us in a "moderate" chance of severe weather, they are usually always correct that severe storms will occur.  Outdoor warning sirens are great but by registering your cell phone, you could be notified of impending danger of storms where ever you may be.  I have heard comments about not wanting to be awakened but the storm would have woke you up or the damage that may be occurring to your home, better be safe, get the jump ahead and be alert to weather conditions that are approaching.  I encourage everyone to sign up.  I would be willing to sign people up if they have any trouble.  

Another big plus, if anyone has scanners, enter 146.940.  This is the Tarrant County amateur radio operators who are trained and follow the severe weather advising the location of the storm and conditions that are occurring.  You would have further information on hail, wind, rain, flooding and any damage that is occurring.  The weather service listens to these guys and is part of how warnings get issued.

The night that I got my phone call about the tornado warning, I had all of our cell phones, the house phone, my pager, and my weather radio all going off.  Mansfield faired well escaping damage but there was substantial damage just to our south and eventually to the east of us. We live in Texas and know how the weather continually changes.

Eric Peterson
Mansfield FD
2500 Block of Elliott 

 

 

 

April 11, 2008

Officials hope more sign up for free storm alerts

 

Special to the Star-Telegram

 

As a severe thunderstorm rumbled toward the city before dawn Thursday, Councilman Greg Kunasek's phone jarred him awake. It was a recorded warning sent to about 1,500 subscribers to a new city notification service.

A second call came a half-hour later, at 3:34, to announce that a tornado warning had been issued.

"That's when I got the kids up and brought them down to the closet," Kunasek said.

The storm passed uneventfully through the city, at least in terms of damage. But it appears to have stirred up interest in the CodeRED Weather Warning service the city installed in February.

With the Texas violent weather season kicking into high gear, city emergency officials had been concerned that so few residents had signed up for the free service. Thanks to storms this week, about 400 people signed up Wednesday and Thursday, officials said.

Officials want at least 15,000 subscribers.

"It's a very quick service that tells you what the hazard is," said Tom Legler, the city's emergency management coordinator. "When sirens go off, you need to go find more information. This gives more information."

Mansfield doesn't have sirens, although many residents are asking for them. Officials say that with Weather Warning, sirens might only be needed at parks.

Among the first

Mansfield is one of the first cities in the nation to buy the service, developed by Florida-based Emergency Communications Network and launched nationwide in January, company Vice President David DiGiacomo said. About 25 cities are using it now, including Melissa in Collin County, he said.

Weather Warning is triggered automatically by National Weather Service alerts. The high-speed dialing program calls subscribers in the path of a storm.

Mansfield pays $5,000 a year for the service.

Several area cities, including Mansfield, contract with CodeRED or similar service providers to alert either the entire city or sectors of it about power outages, road construction, missing persons, flooded roadways and other public safety information. Some even use it to invite people to city meetings and activities.

Fort Worth, which relies on its 132 sirens for weather warnings, has used Sigma Communications' Reverse 911 for announcements since 1997, said Angela Rush, community services manager. The system was upgraded last year to mass-dial emergency calls and was recently used to alert southwest Fort Worth residents of a water outage.

Arlington, which has 48 sirens, doesn't use automatic dialing. North Richland Hills, which has 10 warning sirens, uses CodeRED and is considering adding Weather Warning.

The basic CodeRED services don't require people to register, but Mansfield officials recommend it to make sure numbers are correct or to add cellphone numbers.

Drawbacks

Despite the more precise targeting of Weather Warning, some people might not want calls at all hours of the night. At least one subscriber asked Legler how to unsubscribe because he considered the calls Wednesday night to be a nuisance.

Kunasek, the councilman, said he was concerned when his Caller ID showed "Unknown" and an 800 number. "I didn't want to answer it, and then my cellphone rang and I answered it right away," he said.

He said Legler told him that he will work with the phone company to obtain a more descriptive caller identification.

"I really like the system a lot," Kunasek said. "I think the more we use it, the better it will get."

CodeRED Weather Warning

Mansfield residents can subscribe on the city's Web site, www.mansfield-tx.gov.

For information call Tom Legler, the city's emergency management coordinator, at 817-276-4776.

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----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, April 11, 2008 5:22 AM
Subject: HNP: CodeRED Emergency Notification System --- available for Mansfield residents

 
Fellow HNP Block Captains (others blind copied);
 
Some of us were awakened Thursday morning by severe weather that posed a danger to many our residents.  Although the city doesn't yet have a siren warning system, it does have an emergency notification alert system that uses the phone.  Block Captain Woodie Woodward was good enough to pass along a message from a resident at the bottom of this e-mail, concerning Mansfield's CodeRED Emergency Notification System.  My wife just registered us into the program, which took about two minutes.  You can go to the following link for this program to register ---- http://www.mansfield-tx.gov/ps/em/codered.php .
 
Information about CodeRED is at the above link and is provided below for convenience.  This program addresses several potential dangers besides weather as described below.  Our HNP residents should be aware of this emergency notification service!
 
Greg Ajemian
Heritage Neighborhood Partnership
 
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EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEM

CodeRED
Seconds Count In An Emergency!
CodeRED

The City of Mansfield has instituted the CodeRED Emergency Notification System - an ultra high-speed telephone communication service for emergency notifications. This system allows us to telephone all or targeted areas of the City in case of an emergency situation that requires immediate action (such as a boil-water notice, missing child or evacuation notices).

The system is capable of dialing 50,000 phone numbers per hour. It then delivers our recorded message to a live person or an answering machine, making three attempts to connect to any number.

Click here to get started.

THIS SYSTEM WILL ONLY BE USED FOR EMERGENCY PURPOSES.

Examples of times when the CodeRED system could be utilized:

  • Drinking water contamination
  • Utility outage
  • Evacuation notice & route
  • Missing person
  • Fires or Floods
  • Bomb threat
  • Hostage situation
  • Chemical spill or Gas leak

and other emergency incidents where rapid and accurate notification is essential for life safety.

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A few nights ago, on the news, they discussed Mansfield's CodeRED weather alert system and said very few are using it.  I have lived in cities where they have sirens and believe the CodeRED to be much more effective.  It is the National Weather Service.  You go on line, or call, and register you phone number - also register you cell # in case you are out of the house.  Before the TV can alert you, the phones ring and inform you of weather dangers.  At 3:05 this morning, both my phones rang and when I picked up, it said "severe storm moving in."  Twenty minutes later it rang again stating "tornado alert".   Last week, they rang in the afternoon to state "flash flood alert".  This is a totally FREE service.  Please let residents know they can register by going to www.mansfield-tx.gov or calling our emergency management office at 817-276-4776 Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  This is free, VERY effective and might save a lot of lives.
 
Paula