The Code Red system widely relied upon in town for emergency notifications will be shut down on January 1. Weston residents are being urged to sign on to the Town’s new system.
Code Red has the snappier name, but the new Emergency and Community Alert Program—you will hear it referred to as Everbridge, the name of its provider—is far more powerful and flexible.
We have heard from people who were reluctant to provide details the system requests that you enter. Town officials assure that your information is secure and your privacy is protected.
The reason the system asks for more information than Code Red ever did speaks to its new capabilities.
It can reach you by virtually any electronic means, which you specify and prioritize. It gives Town and emergency response staff the ability, if they choose, to target specifically where in Weston certain messages go if a problem is localized and there is no need to alert everyone.
More significantly, Everbridge is two important systems in one, hence the somewhat branding-challenged Emergency and Community Alert Program name.
It is both a way to alert citizens in the event of an emergency and to let you know about less urgent things you tell the system you want to know about. You can specify that you want to hear about upcoming voter registration deadlines, Senior Center activities, Parks and Rec programs, and so on. You will be able to get messages on your land line, mobile, email, text, or the combination thereof that you choose.
The non-emergency aspects of the system haven’t been used much yet, but will develop over time.
August’s Tropical Storm Isaias wasn’t the first time nature hit Weston hard and plunged all but a lucky few into darkness for days on end.
It won’t be the last.
It might be the wisest course to sign up for alerts and notifications before the lights go out again.