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CodeRed Alert system

Some people in Cabot are confused why they didn't get alerted about Tuesday night's severe weather.
Some people in Cabot are confused why they didn't get alerted about Tuesday night's severe weather.

No sirens blared, no calls or text messages were sent out from the CodeRed Alert system, but the National Weather Service did issue a tornado warning for Lonoke County.

CodeRed is a service people sign up for online to get text messages, emails or calls to phone numbers when severe weather strikes. The City of Cabot is encouraging people to switch over to this technology instead of relying on listening for sirens, but some people worry the system doesn't work properly.

During the storms, both Pulaski and Lonoke counties were under tornado warnings, but the cities of Jacksonville and Cabot had very different alert responses with CodeRed. City of Jacksonville Director of Administration Jim Durham says some people received calls for texts depending on where in the city they live, but the city also set off the sirens.

That didn’t happen in Cabot. Fire Chief Phillip Robinson say there's nothing wrong with the system. "That's where the CodeRed system has a little bit more of an advantage for quick, immediate notification, so when you get that call, you are inside that warning polygon even if the rest of the county is not."

Weather sirens are old technology most cities are moving away from. For those who heard them last night, Robinson says not everyone stood in the path of immediate danger. "With notifications going off in Lonoke County, we hone in on that at our dispatch center and our team sees that it's the southern part of the county, so there's no need to set the sirens here."

Trevor Farabee is signed up for CodeRed alerts and says hearing a siren and seeing a warning on TV and not getting a text or call from CodeRed is worrisome. "Even though the county is large you still expect since storms move so fast, at least within a 15 mile radius you think you'd get a warning to your address."

Emergency responders say the system works and encourage more people to sign up online through your county or your city's website. Just click on the black, white, and red icon for the link and it's free. The cities pay for the service.
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