ADAMS -- The town has joined a growing number of local communities by subscribing to CodeRED, a messaging service controlled by town officials to inform residents of emergencies and other happenings.
Town Administrator Jona than Butler said at Wed nesday’s Selectmen’s meeting the town is "finalizing a contract" with the company to set up a "real first alert system in Adams."
Butler said apart from emergencies like last August’s Tropical Storm Irene, other potential uses include snowstorms, parking bans, downtown events and school closings, among others.
"[The system] is really useful on a number of levels and a good investment for the town," Butler said.
The cost is $7,000 per year. This year’s payment, Butler said, will come out of an emergency management grant the town received, but he aims to build the cost into the emergency management budget in future years.
"It’s a small price to pay for that level of contact with the public," Butler said.
The CodeRED system can be used to target specific areas or the entire community by sending alerts via cell phone, text, home phone and email, able to reach thousands instantly, if necessary.
CodeRED is provided by the Emergency Communications Network (ECN) of Ormond Beach, Fla. Communities throughout the country, in cluding the states of Mass achusetts, New York, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Washington, and Wyoming have bought into the
Butler deemed CodeRED "more cost effective" than Reverse 911, and said nearby cities Pittsfield and North Adams have already launched.
According to company representative Stephanie Meyers, CodeRED has already proven helpful to Northeastern
Tropical Storm Irene saw municipal clients in New England use the system to launch 8.4 million calls to citizens without delay. During Winter Storm Alfred, CodeRED was used to make nearly 5 million calls to New England communities. In addition, CodeRED has been used to locate more than 50 missing children and at-risk adults in the commonwealth through a partnership with A Child Is Missing, Meyers reported.
CodeRED enjoys a 100 percent renewal rate in the commonwealth.
Butler said the system was one month away from being set up. Residents listed in the phone book should automatically be enrolled, but Meyers said residents can ensure this by visiting the companies website at http://www.ecnetwork .com/codered.
To reach Phil Demers,