Is alert system reaching you?

Residents urged to add contact info to emergency network
COVINGTON, Ky. - Does CodeRED have your contact information?
The high-speed mass-notification system is used during emergencies such as tornadoes and chemical spills to alert residents of Kenton County (and thus Covington) via phone call, text, or email of potential danger and to pass on instruction.
But some residents in West Latonia who live near Interplastic Corporation said they didn’t receive a “shelter-in-place” notification Sunday afternoon after an apparent equipment malfunction at the Fort Wright plant caused a release of vapors from a chemical deemed an “irritant.”
There’s a reason - and also a solution, said Todd Schulkers, deputy director of Kenton County Homeland Security Emergency Management.
When Kenton County implemented the CodeRED system in 2017, the system’s initial database included only landline phone numbers that are listed. However, the database didn’t include unlisted landlines, cell phones, and the secondary numbers for businesses, Schulkers said. Nor did it include email addresses.
But ... people can add their contact information by clicking on this link, HERE. For more information about CodeRED, people can click HERE.
“I wouldn’t rely on people thinking their number is in there,” Schulkers said.
Covington Fire Chief Mark Pierce agreed.
“I encourage every Covington resident to click that link and enter their contact information,” Pierce said. “It’s imperative that we’re able to convey information during emergencies, and this is one way we can do that with large numbers of people at the same time.”
Residents can elect to receive free alerts via phone call, text, or email. And to some degree they can pick what types of alerts they receive.
They can also download the CodeRED app for free from the iPhone App store as well as the Android Google Play store. 
Schulkers said alerts can include warnings about severe weather, flash floods, chemical spills, hazardous traffic situations, evacuation noticess, boil water advisories, AMBER alerts, and even situations where law enforcement is chasing a dangerous individual through a neighborhood.
“Basically any situation people need to know about, should we need them to do something or avoid something,” he said.
The CodeRED system works through the Kenton County Emergency Communications Center. Alert notifications are authorized by emergency personnel who have great flexibility in choosing the geographic area that receives the notice, whether in Covington’s case that’s citywide, a few blocks or a few streets, Schulkers said.
“CodeRED is a valuable system, but it’s only as good as the contact information in its database,” Pierce said.
During the event Sunday, residents and businesses within 1,000 feet of the plant were advised to shelter in place, which meant going indoors, closing doors and windows, and shutting off ventilation systems. No injuries were reported, and the advisory was lifted after the leak was shut off and the vapor dissipated, officials said.

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