Columbus installs CodeRED call system

Published 10:52 am Monday, July 11, 2011

Columbus residents and water and sewer customers can now be notified by phone in case of an emergency.
The Town of Columbus has contracted with Emergency Communications Network (ECN) to license its CodeRED high-speed notification system.
The cost to the town is $2,520.
The system will allow town manager Jonathan Kanipe to issue messages either to residents throughout the town or to those in a specified area, depending on the situation.
For example, if there is a water main break in an area of Columbus and the town needs to notify residents that the water service will be cut off for a certain amount of time, the system will leave a message for only those homes in the affected area.
Kanipe cautions that the system is only as good as the telephone number database and urges Columbus residents and customers to register their information.
“We can only call those customers for whom we have current, working phone numbers,” said Kanipe.
One of the reasons the Code- RED system was selected, Kanipe said, is it gives individuals and businesses the ability to add their phone numbers directly into the system’s database, which ensures that the most accurate data is in the system.
ECN provides some information to the town from public records, such as phone book listings, but it does not identify cell phones or email addresses or ensure that the phone book listing is correct.
“No one should automatically assume his or her phone number is included,” Kanipe said, urging all individuals and businesses to log onto the town’s website at and follow the link to the “CodeRED Community Notification Enrollment” page.
Those without Internet access may call town hall at 828-894-8236 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to supply their information over the phone.  There are also forms available at the Columbus Town Hall, located at 95 Walker Street, for residents to fill out and leave with staff who will then input the information.
One of the best features of the CodeRED system is that it allows users to receive notifications via text or email as well, but this is available only if the appropriate information is supplied by the user.
Required information includes first and last name, street address (physical address, no P.O. boxes), city, state, zip code, and primary phone number. Residents have the ability to enter additional phone numbers, such as mobile phones, as well. The information provided will be used only for the emergency notification system and will not be sold, distributed, or used for any other purpose, town officials said.
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 past year, and those who use a cellular phone or VoIP phone as their primary number.
“CodeRED uses street addresses to ensure emergency notification calls are received by the proper individuals in a given situation,” Kanipe said. “The town is excited to provide this new service to citizens and utility customers. CodeRED gives those who want to be included an easy and secure method for inputting information, and allows the town the ability to contact Columbus citizens or utility customers quickly, efficiently, and effectively.”
For more information or for assistance submitting your contact information, please contact the Columbus Town Hall at 828- 894-8236 or in person at 95 Walker Street in Columbus.

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