Code Red Communication

Monday, April 30th 2007, 9:46 pm

By: News On 6

During emergencies more eastern Oklahoma towns are turning to automated phone systems to spread warnings. Now one town is taking the technology a step further. News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports on Code Red. During an emergency time is often critical, that’s why Owasso has an automated calling system to notify residents with emergency information. It's called Code Red.

"What's great about it is you don't have to notify the entire city," said Owasso Police Chief Dan Yancy.

Code Red can call homes on a single block or up to 30,000 homes in less than five minutes. It's a high speed telephone communication system to pass along specific information from firefighters, police or city leaders during an emergency. Things like amber alerts, or closed roads, it’s also been used when city services have been impacted by emergencies.

"Most recently we used it during the ice storm to notify customers we wouldn't be picking up refuse two different days immediately following the ice storm," Assistant City Manager Tim Rooney said.

Most homes in Owasso already get the automated phone calls with the emergency information, but people who may be at work or primarily use cell phones can be left out of the information loop. So the city is pushing people to register their cell phone numbers with the Code Red program. They can sign up online or at city hall.

"Most people carry their cell phones with them, so wherever they are at, whether it's in Tulsa, Owasso or Bartlesville, we can make contact with them and let them know what's going on in Owasso," said Yancy.

"Almost everyone carries them with them everywhere. It's just so much easier, and you don't have to worry about missing that phone call," Rooney said.

Since the campaign started a month and a half ago, more than 900 people have signed up. So those folks who have gotten the message about the program will get messages the next time there's an emergency.

Cities have used the Code Red calling system in a number of ways. It helps with information about missing people, evacuations, escaped prisoners, chemical spills, gas leaks, you name it. Coweta is another community that uses the Code Red program.

If you live in Owasso and would like to sign up for the Code Red system, click here.

Watch the video: Emergency Warnings On Your Phone

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