Corinth implements emergency notification system

CORINTH – The city of Corinth is implementing a new communications system to allow department heads to broadcast information quickly to their staffs and their constituents.
The Board of Aldermen recently authorized a contract with Blackboard Connect to implement a mass notification and communication system.
“The system will include all city entities,” said Fire Chief Rob Price, who was asked to research the system. “Blackboard Connect will purchase all published telephone numbers, then provide a website where people can put in additional contact information if they want.”
The Internet-based system allows any household to have up to three contacts, including phone and e-mail.
“Even a concerned family member who lives away from Corinth could put their contact information in for a Corinth residence, and they would receive any notices we send to that address,” Price said.
The kinds of notices private residents might receive would be changes in garbage pickup schedules from the street department, closed streets for construction or hazards, and detours for special events like parades or the Coca-Cola 10K Run.
The system also will make it faster and easier to reach emergency responders and other public safety workers, Price said.
In addition to city departments Corinth Gas & Water and Magnolia Regional Health Center have been invited to participate in the system.
Blackboard Connect is the same system used by Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the governor’s office for similar communication needs.
Alcorn County is about two months into a six-month free trial period for county residents with a system called Global Connect Emergency Notification that provides a similar service.
Corinth’s contract cost for the remainder of the current fiscal year – through Sept. 30 – is $4,415, and for FY 2011 is $13,244.
The system is expected to be in place in a few weeks, and the city probably will have an information campaign to let city residents know when it is operable, said City Clerk Vickie Roach.

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.

Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal