Horry County to test emergency call system Monday

jrodriguez@thesunnews.comSeptember 19, 2013 

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    TTY/TDD Functions – The CodeRed system allows those hearing impaired to also sign up to receive emergency notifications.

    Message Playback – You may hear the last message to your phone through the CodeRED system by simply dialing back the number on your Caller ID. Community members can easily identify calls coming from the CodeRED system as the recipient’s Caller ID will read Emergency Communications Network or 866-419-5000.

    CodeRED Mobile Alert App – The free, available app is geo-aware so no matter where you are when an alert is issued, you will receive notifications that affect you – right on your mobile device. The app delivers information from community officials in areas that are subscribed to the CodeRED Emergency Notification System. The free app is available on Horry County’s website at http://www.horrycounty.org.

    CodeRED Weather Warning – This is an opt-in only weather warning product that taps into the National Weather Service’s Storm Based Warnings. This geographical targeted weather warning product is built into the CodeRED system and will alert citizens moments after a severe thunderstorm, flash flood, or tornado warning has been issued.

    SOURCE: Horry County

Other CodeRED features:

Starting Monday at 10 a.m., CodeRED will be doing an all-call for every phone number they have listed in Horry County.

Landlines and cell phones tied to addresses in Horry County topple more than 200,000 and those calls will be made within three hours on a testing basis Monday. It’s part of an alert system Horry County signed with Emergency Communications Network, Inc., recently. It’s similar to the breaking news notification we have at The Sun News or the mass calling program Horry County Schools has with parents to alert them to late starts and school cancelations.

“We recognize the need to be able to better notify the public in the event we have an emergency situation no matter what the case may be,” said Randy Webster, Horry County’s emergency management director.

The CodeRED system gives county officials the ability to deliver pre-recorded emergency telephone notification/information messages to targeted areas or the entire county at a rate of up to 60,000 calls per hour, according to a press release issued by the county. The system allows you to enter as many phone numbers as you need for other family members or employees at your business by re-entering your information. The system also allows you to enter email addresses as the emergency notification can be broadcasted by phone, text or email, the release states.

The process to sign up is pretty simple and county residents are encouraged to do so before Monday’s test page. If a resident does not have internet access, they can call (843) 915-5390 to sign up for the alerts. If they do have Internet access, they can log on to www.horrycounty.org and click on the CodeRED link.

A couple of neat features about the system, Webster said, is the ability for people to put their multiple addresses – from home to work to their kids’ schools – into the system. That’s important because the CodeRED system can pinpoint where the emergency announcement needs to be targeted and contact the people in that area. For example, if a traffic crash occurs on the county’s south end, those signed up with Little River addresses would not be notified.

“It gives you a lot of flexibility as to how to recognize what area needs to be getting the call,” Webster said. “You can tag yourself to as many different locations as you normally would be at. If an event were to happen, that included that location, you would get the message.”

The system also works for out-of-town property owners, who can sign up with their Horry County address and be alerted to emergencies that may impact their property.

Administrators and supervisors will be the ones with access to the system in the event of an emergency, which can be anything from weather and fires to car crashes and more.

“It’s going to be another great tool in the toolbox for us to be able to notify the public as to what’s going on, especially in an emergency situation,” Webster said.

New boat ramp to get $40,000 in improvements

Councilman Brent Schultz gave $40,000 of his recreation fund money to the new boat ramp off S.C. 22 and Highway 17 near North Myrtle Beach. The funds will be used for a new pavilion and furniture at the boat landing.

The county opened the $1.6 million boat launch in July.

Contact JASON M. RODRIGUEZ at 626-0301 or follow him at Twitter.com/TSN_jrodriguez.

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