By NIKKI YOUNK
FLORENCE, Wis. - Florence County officials are making progress on the new CodeRED emergency notification system for residents.
CodeRED is a web-based service that allows officials to send alerts regarding severe weather, evacuation notices, school closings, public health issues, and much more.
Residents who sign up to receive alerts can be notified by phone, text, or e-mail when an emergency arises.
Although officials have already created a database of Florence County residents with listed phone numbers, many people may not be included.
Businesses, individuals who have unlisted phone numbers or have recently changed their phone numbers, and individuals who primarily use cell phones should go to www.florencecountywi.com and click on the CodeRED Emergency Warning link on the right side of the page in order to register.
Anyone without an internet connection who would like to register should contact Florence County Emergency Management Director David Gribble at (715) 528-3410.
There is no cost to register.
Those with caller ID services will be able to identify any incoming alerts from CodeRED.
For regular CodeRED alerts, caller IDs will display Emergency Communications Network or the phone number 1-866-419-5000. For CodeRED weather alerts, caller IDs will display Emergency Communications Network or the phone number 1-800-566-9780.
"Residents can simply dial the number displayed on their caller ID to hear the last message delivered," said Gribble. "This will greatly reduce the number of inbound inquiries handled by our office so we can focus on handling 911 calls to those citizens who need immediate help."
The Florence County Sheriff's Department, Florence School District, Florence Utilities, and various county offices will have the ability to send out alerts.
Alerts about severe weather will come directly from the National Weather Service.
Gribble noted that the CodeRED weather alert system automatically notifies citizens in the path of severe weather just moments after a warning has been issued.
"Calls are delivered so quickly, they often arrive prior to any other public notifications, usually before television or weather radio broadcasts are aired, which will provide full-time and seasonal residents in Florence County extra time to prepare," he explained.
Nikki Younk's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.