Belmont County residents and businesses can expect a call from the County 911 system beginning Nov. 25 informing them of the county's CodeRED alert system, and how cellphones also can be registered to receive County 911 alerts.
Belmont County 911 began using CodeRED in June, and now has the capacity to send out alerts to more than 35,000 homes and businesses throughout the county in less than an hour, explained Bryan Minder, acting Belmont County 911 director. Alerts also can be directed to specific communities or neighborhoods if needed, he added.
Most recently CodeRED was used following the shooting at the Federal Building in downtown Wheeling, when residents living near the shooter's home in Bridgeport needed to be evacuated, he said. Emergency alerts can also be issued to inform the public when there is a missing child or elderly adult, a hazardous spill or explosion or an armed gunman on the loose near their home.
Beginning at 10 a.m Monday, Nov. 25, Belmont County 911 will send out alert calls informing residents the county is now using the CodeRed system, according to Minder.
"The main reason for the all call is to clean up the system (of inoperative phone numbers)," he explained. "If a number is not a live phone number, we can eliminate it so we can speed up time in the future.
"People will also be told how if they want to add additional numbers - like their cellphones - to the system, they can."
ALERT CALL SYSTEM
- Phone numbers may be added to the Belmont County 911 CodeRED Alert System at belmontcounty911.com.
- Those without Internet access may call the Belmont County 911 administrative office at 740-699-0398, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to provide information by phone. It is asked that
residents not dial 9-1-1 to provide the phone information.
And Minder added not everyone should assume their phone number is listed with the Belmont County 911 CodeRED alert system. All businesses should register, as well as all individuals who have unlisted phone numbers, who have changed their phone number or address within the past year or those who use a cellular phone or Internet phone provider.
The current database only includes landline phones through the local phone company, and customers receiving their phone service through Internet providers such as Comcast, Vonage or Magic Jack are not listed, he explained.
Residents and businesses needing to add phone numbers to the system should go to belmontcounty911.com, and follow the link on the homepage to the "CodeRED Community Notification Enrollment" page.
Those without Internet access may call the Belmont County 911 administrative office at 740-699-0398, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to provide information over the phone. It is asked that residents not dial 911 to provide the phone information.
Those registering will need to give their first and last name, street address and primary phone number. Up to two phone numbers and one email address can be entered per residence.
Emergency warnings will be sent out to all phone numbers listed with the system, and residents also have the option through the website to choose to receive general notifications and severe weather warnings.
In addition, a CodeRED app is available to iPhone and Android users that allows them to not only receive local warnings, but those from other CodeRED systems when they travel.
Participation in the CodeRED alert system is free to Belmont County residents. The County 911 has contracted with Emergency Communications Network to provide CodeRED in Belmont County, and pays the company $20,000 annually from the 911 system's budget, according to Minder.