BOONE TOWNSHIP | Knowing when dangerous weather was bearing down on township residents was helpful, but the emergency notification system didn't help when other emergencies occurred.
That's why Boone Township and Hebron have gone CodeRED.
A full test of the new CodeRED Telephone Advance Notification System will be conducted at 3 p.m. Thursday. This time the message will be a public service announcement to make sure the system works and to warn residents they need to go to one of three websites to register any cellphones or unlisted phone numbers they want included in the alerts.
Township Trustee Russell Franzman said, "All individuals and businesses should take the time to visit the website and add contact information to include cellphones and other nontraditional phones as well as email and text addresses. If your contact information is not in the database, you will not receive a call when an urgent message is sent."
In addition to severe weather alerts, the system is designed to notify residents of boil orders, gas leaks, hazardous material spills or any other emergency affecting their particular area. It can be used to notify the entire township or single out a street or a neighborhood.
Franzman said the weather alert system has been in use for about 1 1/2 years. It was connected to the National Weather Service and relayed any alerts issued by the agency. The service cost about $4,660 a year. The new CodeRED system will cost $6,500 a year, with the township and Hebron sharing the cost.
The new system comes with the phone registry available for emergency 911 systems, and anyone who previously registered to receive the weather alerts will automatically be included as well. Those who have changed their number recently or use a service like Vonage as their primary phone should register with the new system.
"CodeRED gives those who want to be included an easy and secure method for inputting information," Franzman said. "The data collected will only be used for emergency notification purposes."
Residents should look for the CodeRED icon on the www.visithebron.org or www.townofhebron.com or www.hebronfire.net websites and enter their name, street address, primary phone number and additional phone numbers. Those without a computer or Internet access can register at the township office, 131 N. Main St., in Hebron, or the Hebron Town Hall, 106 E. Sigler St.