Vinton Town Council and Town Manager Pete Peters wanted a way to notify all its citizens and its businesses of emergency situations, along with those in nearby East Roanoke County. After an extensive review of mass emergency alerting systems, the town has contracted with CodeRED, with the system going live on Dec. 1.
CodeRED is a high-speed emergency notification system provided by OnSolve. According to the town, public safety officials across the United States have credited CodeRED notifications with saving lives, locating missing children, apprehending wanted criminals, and issuing timely evacuations in cases of natural disasters and severe weather.
The CodeRED system will now serve as the backbone of Vinton’s emergency planning and communications outreach. The platform will allow the Town of Vinton to communicate with registered residents, businesses, and Town personnel by informing them of emergencies which will better protect life and property. CodeRED was selected for its reliability and accuracy, as well as the system’s widespread usage across North America.
The Town anticipates using the system to notify residents of evacuation notices; criminal activities; shelter in place/lockdown alerts; missing child/person alerts; boil water advisories; road closures due to construction, accidents, special events, or other issues; notifications of hazardous traffic or road conditions, natural disaster information, and more.
Notifications will be delivered in the form of cell phone and landline telephone calls, text messages, emails, posts to social media, and mobile app messages. Citizens may select the best option (s) for themselves. The CodeRED system will even leave messages on your answering machine or on voicemail. If your line is busy, CodeRED makes a total of three attempts to connect.
You must register for the service; however, registration is quite simple. Individuals add their landline phone numbers, cell phone numbers, and/or email addresses to receive notifications.
Town staff highly recommends registering with a “managed account’ which can be updated when necessary, although there are also “Single Sign-on” accounts and “Non-managed” accounts available.
In registering for a managed account, you create a username and password, then add your name and address, your phone number (s) and/or email address.
Residents and businesses in Vinton and East Roanoke County can learn more about, and register for, the CodeRED system by visiting: www.vintonva.gov/CodeRED-Alert-System.
You may register online at https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/BF360905066D; with your Smartphone by texting “TOVAlerts” to 99411; scan the QR Code on the flyer with your phone camera; or call 540-983-0601 and select CodeRED assistance from the menu.
There is no charge for citizens to use the service. The town will be picking up the tab as an annual expense in its budget.
“CodeRED’s robust system will provide Vinton officials with a reliable, easy-to-use technology to enhance our emergency preparedness plans,” said Mayor Brad Grose.
The Town also purchased the CodeRED Weather Warning system, an automated weather warning technology that delivers phone calls, text messages, and emails to registered residents, businesses, and Town personnel within the direct path of severe weather. The CodeRED Weather Warning system is an opt-in service that notifies those registered of tornado, flash flood, and severe thunderstorm warnings just moments after an alert is issued by the National Weather Service (NWS).
Only authorized Town of Vinton officials will have access to send notifications within the CodeRed system. Vinton’s Planning and Zoning Coordinator, Julie Tucei will be the main point of contact. Other officials with access and shared responsibilities will include Town Manager Pete Peters, Associate Planner Fayula Gordon, Executive Assistant to the Chief of Police Mandie Baker, Public Works Administrative Manager Jill Acker, and Economic Development Specialist Marshall Stanley.
CodeRED is an enhanced communications system. The Town of Vinton will continue to provide emergency information to local TV, radio, and newspapers, as well as to Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Initially all phone numbers listed in the “white pages” are entered by the vendor into the CodeRED system, but the database does not include cell phone numbers or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone (Internet calling) numbers. So, please don’t assume your information is in the system. You may rest assured that the limited personal information you provide is protected within the CodeRED system.