Special to The Reporter

What if an emergency situation arose in Somervell County and all or portions of the county were affected? How can people get notified? The county has implemented a new tool called CodeRED emergency notification system, capable of placing up to 60,000 telephone calls per hour. A prerecorded message will be delivered, telling residents and businesses about the situation and what action, if any, needs to be taken.

When a situation arises in Somervell County, the sheriff's office will turn to the Internet and the CodeRED mapping tools to designate a call area based on addresses. With the push of a few buttons, a prerecorded message describing the situation will be delivered to a live person or an answering machine in the affected area, possibly including instructions requiring action on the part of the recipient.

CodeRED is a geographical based system where street addresses are needed to select the telephone numbers that will receive emergency notification calls.

A calling database has been supplied by Emergency Communications Network with the best known phone numbers for the addresses in Somervell County; however this calling list does not initially contain unlisted or cellular telephone numbers. Effective immediately, residents and businesses may add their numbers to the calling database by clicking on the CodeRED icon on the Somervell County Web site (www.glenrose.org) and following the instructions. No one should automatically assume his or her telephone number is included. All businesses should register, as well as all individuals who have unlisted phone numbers, those who have changed their phone number or address within the last year and those who use a cellular phone as their home phone. The system working with cellular phones but requires a Somervell County street address.

People who have recently moved to the county but kept the same listed or unlisted number will need to input their current address into the database. When entering information, fill out all of the screens. The newest data entered will replace the old data. CodeRED will be used for emergencies or disasters that might call for action like evacuation, sheltering in place, or boiling contaminated water, but may also be used in situations that are non-emergency related.

For more information, about CodeRED, call the Somervell County Sheriff's Office at 254-897-2242.

If you receive a CodeRED message, do not immediately cal the Sheriff's Office as it is likely that all personnel and systems are already operating at full capacity to contain an emergency situation. Listen carefully and follow CodeRED instructions.