By BRAD KELLAR
When the spring severe weather season starts in a few weeks, Greenville residents should not count on hearing emergency sirens warning of the approach of a tornado.
Instead, the City of Greenville is promoting the use of the CodeRED automatic notification system.
The Greenville City Council voted in April 2013 against a budget amendment to upgrade the city’s emergency warning sirens, following months of problems with the units.
The siren at the Greenville SportsPark had been repaired with modern equipment, at a cost of $14,500, designed to keep it operational.
The council decided not to spend an estimated $75,000 to do the same for the four remaining sirens under the city’s control.
The council instead voiced support for CodeRED, a high speed telephone communication service that can deliver customized, pre-recorded emergency messages directly to homes and businesses at the rate of 60,000 calls per hour.
The CodeRED system uses intranet mapping which allows for calls to be placed to a certain geographic area of Greenville, or city-wide as circumstances warrant. The system’s main purpose is to notify citizens or groups of citizens in emergency situations. The system has the ability to be used for non-emergency notifications as well.
The system has been used to relay important information during periods of non-weather related situations or in the event of a missing or endangered individual.
But as of the start of last summer, less than 10 percent of the city’s population had signed up for the free service.
Additional information about the CodeRED system is available on the City of Greenville web site at www.ci.greenville.tx.us.
Local residents who do not have Internet access that wish to sign up for CodeRED, may call the City Manager’s Office at 903- 457-3116 or visit the W. Walworth Harrison Public Library for assistance.