Code Red Has Green Light?

By: Stan Torgerson
By: Stan Torgerson

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District 3 Lauderdale County supervisor Craig Hitt told the Council of Governments that the Board of Supervisors has joined the city of Meridian in approving the Code Red plan.

It allows authorities to automatically call thousands of people in a matter of minutes with weather or other emergency warnings, but there is still one question to be answered before it can go into effect.

"The county has signed. The city has signed, as I understand, but there is some concern now through the 911 Commission, talking with Bell South, as to whether they can handle some of these in some of their areas, as to whether they can handle the number of calls that would go out at one time," said Hitt.

Hitt said that is the reason that nothing has been put in place yet.

"It's not a holdup on the city or county's end," Hitt said. "It's just making sure that if we contract with Code Red and put this in place, that it will be we tell the public you will be called if you have bad weather and then for whatever reasons there's an area that can't handle the calls. We don't want that confusion."

Hitt then gave a specific example of an area that is still in doubt.

"Places like the old Obadiah exchange, Bell South is just not sure they could run that many calls through. Those areas out there now have a lot of population and they're concerned if we tell the public this is going to happen and then for whatever reason it doesn't happen, then we have some issues," said the supervisor.

Hitt said the city, county and 911 are working with Bell South to work all that out. The cost of Code Red is $15,000 per year, divided equally between the city and county.

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