By JONATHAN BYM
Moore County Emergency Services’ decision to change its emergency alert system was brought about by a budgetary fix, but also allows for uniformity across the county for public notifications.
The switch to the CodeRED emergency notification system went into effect recently as the county’s contract with Nixle expired. Scot Brooks, the county’s emergency manager, said that Pinehurst and Southern Pines are already using the system.
“It’s just a simple ‘dollars and cents’ issue,” Brooks said. “The company we were with, Nixle, has (gone) away from an unlimited plan and to a minute package plan. Southern Pines and the village of Pinehurst use CodeRED as well. It helps us not have multiple and different types of emergency notification systems. It makes us a lot more interoperable. Before they had to sign up for CodeRED in the village or in Southern Pines, and then Nixle in the county.”
Residents who are signed up for CodeRED in Pinehurst and Southern Pines will not have to update or register again for notifications, Brooks said.
The change to CodeRED also provides more comprehensive weather updates than was available through Nixle, and registering for those updates is easier, Brooks said. Text message updates will also be included with this system, as well as the county being added to the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System.
“That is a new feature that we will have to allow us to hit the cell towers,” Brooks said, giving the example that if a situation was going on in a specific area, emergency services would be able to use cell towers to send notifications to cellphones within a certain radius of the situation.
The county signed a three-year contract with CodeRED for a second stint with the company. Brooks said the county worked through CodeRED before moving to Nixle.
“It has an unlimited plan and does everything we need it to do, plus,” Brooks said. “CodeRED has surpassed on some of their processes and how they do things, and their pricing is much more competitive.”
Residents will have to register again by creating a profile on CodeRED. A link to register for notifications can be found on the Moore County website homepage at https://www.moorecountync.gov/. On the page, there’s a red box with a phone on it that says “Emergency Notification.” Brooks also said that residents can text “MooreAlerts” to 99411 and the link to registration will be sent to their smartphone.
“It’s a difficult change and a pain for citizens, but it’s a change we need to do,” Brooks said.
Contact Jonathan Bym at (910) 693-2470 or email@example.com.