RIVERDALE — For the first time in the history of Riverdale, city officials are scheduled to conduct “test calls” Friday, using home phones, cell phones and the Internet to alert residents of potential emergencies. The City of Riverdale will be using its CodeRED Emergency Notification System to call the entire community to announce and promote the new system.
CodeRED Weather Warning system is an automated severe weather alerting service.
The test calls will occur at 10 a.m. and will continue until the entire database has been dialed, said Riverdale City Clerk Stephanie Thomas.
“The reason why we are doing code red is because it allows us to contact citizens in the event of an emergency in our immediate area,” Thomas said. “The system has several different methods of contacting citizens including residential and business land lines, Voice Over IP (Internet) systems and cell phones. In addition to the phone lines, we can send emergency text messages as well as e-mail.”
According to Thomas, the message that will be delivered directs recipients to the City of Riverdale’s website to opt into the system and select the types of warnings they are interested in receiving. Residents must add their information to receive the severe weather warning calls; this data will also populate the CodeRED database. The call will also ask everyone to share this information with their families, friends and neighbors.
Thomas recommended everyone opt in to the CodeRED Weather Warning system.
“All individuals and businesses should take the time to visit our website and add contact information to include cellular phones and other non-traditional phones as well as e-mail and text addresses (for use by the CodeRED system). If your contact information is not in the database, you will not receive a call.”
City officials are encouraging businesses to register, as well as individuals who have unlisted phone numbers, who have changed their phone number recently and those who use a cellular phone exclusively or have VoIP phones (such as Vonage) as their primary numbers.
“I think the CodeRED system is phenomenal,” said Riverdale Mayor Evelyn Wynn-Dixon. “It is an early warning system to notify our citizens of any kind of catastrophic event, such as tornadoes, severe weather, or even gas leaks.”
“The main thing I like about is that it can reach everybody through their cell phones or home phones,” added the mayor. “The thing that I love about, is that we are not depending on people just hearing it from their homes and we also have backup numbers in the event the phone number is not working. All of us at city hall, including the city council, want our citizens to be prepared and be safe. It is huge benefit to the citizens because they can be immediately notified even if they are not in Riverdale. Even [if they’re] out of the state, or country, as long as we have their cell phone numbers or e-mail addresses, they can be notified.”
City officials urge residents to log onto the City’s website at www.riverdalega.gov and follow the CodeRED link. Those without Internet access may call 770-909-5385 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., to receive assistance with registration. Required information includes a street address (physical address, no P.O. boxes) for location purposes and a primary phone number. Additional phone numbers, e-mail and text addresses may also be entered.