Most folks would want to know if there were a boulder over head that was in danger of crashing down.
That is the assumption behind this county’s participation in a program called CodeRED, which is essentially a reverse 911 system. But the system can only work for you if you provide information that can be included in a countywide telephone data base.
Here’s how CodeRed works: If there is an approaching threat, perhaps a tornado, the system will automatically send phone, text or e-mail messages to homes and businesses in the area that is under immediate threat, therefore enabling people who are in danger to take potentially lifesaving action.
“If your phone number is not in the database, you will not be called,” said Mattie Caulder, the county’s assistant Emergency Management director. “No one should automatically assume his or her phone number is included.”
To ensure being included in the database, individuals and businesses should log onto the county’s website at www.co.robeson.nc.us and follow the link to the “CodeRED Community Notification Enrollment” page. Then just follow the directions, which are as easy as A-B-C.
Those who aren’t Internet enabled can provide the information by calling the county’s Emergency Management Office at (910) 671-3150 weekdays between 8:15 a.m. and 5:15 p.m.
Required information includes first and last name, street address (no P.O. boxes), city, state, zip code, and primary phone number. Additional phone numbers can also be entered into the system.
Don’t fret about the information being misused.
“CodeRED gives those who want to be included an easy and secure method for inputting information,” Caulder said. “The data collected will only be used for emergency notification purposes.”
The cost to the county is $171,562 over five years, which will be funded the first two years with Emergency 911 funds, the third year by the county Water Fund, and the fourth and fifth years by the General Fund.
One life saved will make the system a bargain.
Still, we know there will be those who won’t supply the information to the county out of laziness, suspicion — or perhaps, because they don’t want to be found for other reasons. We just hope that trouble isn’t headed their way.