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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Milton to use CodeRED emergency notification system.

by Carolyn Aspenson / The Milton Herald

MILTON, Ga. — The city of Milton signed a contract with Emergency Communications Network to provide notification messages to residents during emergency situations.

The system will replace the current texting system provided by Nixle.

"The mass notification that CodeRED provides is so important because getting an early warning out to the community gives them time to take precautions against a potential disaster, rather than being caught unaware and therefore at much greater risk to life and limb," said Matt Marietta, Milton's fire marshal and emergency manager.

The system will be used for severe weather situations — such as tornado warnings — and in the event of less common incidents such as hazardous materials releases, he said. In addition, the system will be used to notify users of missing or abducted children and other serious emergencies where vital safety information needs to be communicated.

"The traditional press release or press conference is not quick enough," Marietta said.

CodeRED, a high-speed notification system, utilizes a database of phone numbers for Milton residents and businesses existing within the last year.

The system does not include unlisted numbers, cellular phone numbers or new or changed numbers from within the past year.

Marietta encourages all residents and businesses to sign up for notifications with home and cell numbers on the city of Milton website, www.cityofmiltonga.us.

Sign up can also be done over the phone by calling 678-242-2500.

Residents who had signed up for text messages from Nixle and have recently changed their numbers will have to sign up for the new service.

No information provided during sign up will be used for anything other than emergency alerts, Marietta said.

If a resident or business is not signed up, they will not receive a notification call.

"We understand this may be a hassle for residents," said Jason Wright, a Milton spokesman, "but the payoff will come when there is precious little time in a true emergency."

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