With the recent notification delay about contaminated water in Sandy, Cache County Emergency Management and Logan City Police 911 Communication want to inform residents of two resources available countywide.
“Both of them are ways for people to take a proactive approach in either being reached if an emergency is occurring near them that we would need to contact them for and then, on the flip side, ways for them to provide information to us if they have their own emergency,” Logan Police 911 Communications Director Shelley Peterson said.
The first resource Cache County residents have access to is CodeRed, a reverse notification system that sends alerts about incidents occurring near residents.
The CodeRed system is often used to notify residents when a young child or person with dementia is missing as well as informing the public about water system contamination, evacuations or other emergency situations.
“For example, if there was a wildland fire that was up on the bench heading your way, you’d probably want to know, ‘Well, do I stay or do I go?’” Cache County Emergency Management Coordinator Will Lusk said. “One of the messages that would be utilized for the CodeRed system would be that you’d need to either get prepared to evacuate or to take evacuation steps now.”
In an email to The Herald Journal, Peterson stated that the CodeRed system is tied to the telephone database, meaning everyone who has a listed number in the database would receive a call with the emergency message on it.
“The CodeRed system automatically includes landline phones — but not very many people have landlines anymore,” Peterson stated. “To receive a notification on a cell phone you must register the number OR download the CodeRed app on your device and create an account.”
Peterson said registering cellphone numbers would help reduce a delay in the notification and prevent residents from being unaware of contaminated water or evacuation notices.
“Technology changes so quickly and cellphone technology doesn’t work the same way landline technology worked 10, 15, 20 years ago,” Peterson said. “So, it really is necessary for people to take that step and to provide that information.”
The second resource available to Cache County residents is Smart911, which allows residents to provide additional information to 911 dispatchers. The information is available to dispatchers only when a person calls 911.
Lusk said Smart911 puts information in dispatchers’ hands that allows them notify first responders of medical conditions, allergies or if a person in the residence is susceptible to loud noises or flashing lights.
Residents can provide their home and/or work address, list emergency contacts, health conditions and pet information. Peterson said this information is useful and helps responders find a person who needs help faster.
“In any emergency, one of the most key things is location,” Peterson said. “It gives us the ability to quickly get, if nothing else, location information.”
Both of these resources are available out of state wherever provided by local emergency management.