With spring 2013 nearing, DES gearing up for storm season

Posted February 6, 2013 at 3:08 pm

The new CodeRED weather warning system put in place by area counties, including Clinton, a few months ago, is now online for residents who have registered to receive severe weather warnings with the company, according to Director of Disaster and Emergency Services (DES) Lonnie Scott.

The system was put in place with funds provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Kentucky Office of Homeland Security and involves counties that could be affected by any type of breech in the Wolf Creek Dam, which is now going through the final months of rehabilitation construction.

Scott said earlier this week that the system hadn’t been used as of yet, as there have been no severe weather warnings issued specifically for Clinton County since the new service has been put in place.

The CodeRED system can be used to send critical communications, from evacuation notices to missing children alerts.

The weather alerts send messages to your phone moments after a severe thunderstorm, flash flood, or tornado warning is issued by the National Weather Service. Those receiving calls will know it is from CodeRED when they see 800-566-9780. If you’d like to hear the last message delivered to your phone, simply dial the number back.

Residents can sign up to receive alerts for any combination of severe weather warnings and other notifications by logging on to http://R911SignUp.com.

For more information on the new alert system and how to access the service, go to the above website or contact DES Director Scott.

Spring weather, which usually means the potential for more severe storms, is just around the corner and Scott said the 13 tornado sirens in the county (three of which are inside the Albany City Limits) would be tested in early March and any problems with any of the sirens would be addressed prior to the storm season.

The DES director also noted that the grant that had been applied for to add “safe rooms” in various parts of the county was turned down. Although there is still a possibility that some type of funding may be available in the future for such a project, he said that Hazard Mitigation fund requests could drag on two or three years.

Finally, 911 Dispatch is trying to secure funds for new equipment that will match with new KSP remote equipment, which is being upgraded. The new equipment would still allow remote emergency calls from cell phones to be dispatched to state police, Scott added. He continued, however, that state police posts received funding through the state for their new equipment but that it was much harder for smaller counties to come up with the funds necessary for the upgrades.