Alcorn County begins alert system

By The Associated Press

CORINTH — Alcorn County officials are planning a countywide test on Feb. 20 of its CodeRed emergency warning system.

Ricky Gibens, emergency services coordinator, tells The Daily Corinthian that the system was used on Feb. 2 to alert residents of icy road conditions that developed with a freezing rain.

Gibens said the Feb. 20 test will direct call recipients to the Alcorn County website — www.alcorncounty.org — where individuals can click on the CodeRED link to customize the types of warnings they are interested in receiving or opt out of the system entirely.

After the call on Feb. 2, “We had a few people call and wanted to opt out, and we had some that wanted to know why they didn’t get the call,” said Gibens.

Other than severe weather, the notification system could be used to announce road closings, Amber alerts, boil water advisories or evacuation notices.

“We also suggest that all individuals and businesses take the time to visit our website and add contact information to include cellular phones and other nontraditional phones, as well as email and text addresses,” said Gibens. “If your contact information is not in the database, you will not receive a call.”

People who have unlisted phone numbers, who have changed their number recently, who use a cellphone exclusively or who use VoIP service may need to add their numbers to the database. The required information includes a street address and a primary phone number.

Gibens said people can tailor the alerts to their method of choice, whether by phone, text or one of the other available options. A smartphone application is also available.

A CodeRED Emergency message will have a caller ID of 866-419-5000. A CodeRED General message will have a caller ID of 855-969-4636. The service suggests programming both numbers into a cellphone as a “new contact” and use “CodeRED Emergency” and “CodeRED General” as the contact names.

The website link is expected to go live on Friday and will be a secure link, Gibens said.