Emergency officials say the new CodeRed emergency notification system implemented earlier this month was successful in alerting residents of Wednesday’s severe flood.
Since the system was introduced to the public, Morehead-Rowan County EMS Director Danny Blevins said many residents signed up for CodeRed.
“We have almost a thousand residents who have registered for the Community weather notification system,” Blevins said. “We are still encouraging people to sign up. I think it can potentially save some lives.”
Residents who have enrolled in the CodeRed Weather Warning system were notified at the onset of the storm. Blevins said.
“If you were already enrolled in the system and you lived on Cranston road from Clear Fork to Lewis County, you received a phone call,” he said. “If you’re not enrolled in the system, you did not get a phone call.”
Blevins said there are two different services being used to contact people for emergencies. Both services are utilized by the Code Red system.
“We have an automatic weather service that you have to enroll for,“ he said Thursday. “Calls were made through the CodeRed Weather Warning system during Wednesday’s storm. The other system is Rowan Emergency Communications Network that residents do not have to sign up for. Both are with CodeRed.”
“In the morning hours when we saw that the flooding was going to be severe, we sent out our own message using the CodeRed system asking people to stay in their homes and not go anywhere because of severe flooded roads and bridges,” he said.
Blevins said he felt the CodeRed system worked. However he did say that the system is not exactly 100 percent accurate.
“I wouldn’t say they were adequately prepared,“ Blevins said as he referred to the recent flooding that took place on Cranston Road Wednesday. “There’s always reasons why people don’t get messages. You have to have a phone to get messages. Individual’s cell phones may be out of range. Residents may not be home when the call is made to their home phone and the answering machine would get the message. This is not a 100 percent system.”
Blevins said he had confidence in CodeRed.
“This is the best technology we’ve had to warn people,” he said. “It can be missed but it is the most accurate ways to alert people. The people who lived on that road received a call that evening concerning the storm. Those calls were put out by the CodeRed Weather Alert system. ”
Blevins said there were 267 calls that were made by the Rowan County ECN and those calls were within a two-mile radius of the Rt. 377 Fire Department during the storm.
“If they (residents) were signed up with the CodeRed automated system, they would’ve gotten the warning a long time ago,” he said. “There was a connection rate at 83 percent with those calls. The flood was ongoing when those calls were made.”
It’s important to sign up for those alerts, Blevins added.
“We can’t sign them up, they have sign themselves up,“ he said. “We can assist them with signing them up for the CodeRed Weather warning with their permission.”
Blevins said he wished there would be 100 percent enrollment rate for CodeRed.
“We can strive to get the word out to everybody we can to prevent loss of property and life,” he said.