As hurricane season begins, Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre and Lafourche Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle announced a new emergency alert service immediately available to all residents. The system is called “CodeRED” and allows citizens to sign up online to receive location-based notifications by phone call or text message in the case of an emergency.
While details on emergencies such as mandatory evacuations, hazardous material spills, and boil water advisories are always announced through news releases and social media, Lafourche Parish Government and the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office have also been utilizing a telephone system which made automated phone calls to residents in a specified area in the event of such an emergency. The new CodeRED system offers that same functionality, but it will also call or send text messages to cell phones of citizens who sign up online. Additionally, the system will allow for several thousand more phone calls to be made simultaneously, reducing the total time needed to call each citizen to a few minutes rather than, what was in some cases, several hours.
When signing up for CodeRED online, each citizen will complete a form requesting basic information, including the citizen’s name, address and phone number. Multiple phone numbers can be added, including land-based telephone lines and cell phones with an option to receive text message alerts. An email address can also be added to receive the notifications by email. Upon submitting the information, users will have the option to create a “managed account”. This option is recommended so that users can change information, such as phone numbers or addresses, in the future, if necessary. Finally, users will have a final opportunity to verify all information, including the ability to pinpoint your address on a map and even conduct a test call to the phone number(s) entered.
“With a large number of residents ‘cutting the cord’ and opting exclusively for cell phone service, we needed a way to reach these residents in addition to the landline owners,” said Sheriff Craig Webre. “After working with Lafourche Parish Government emergency officials, and considering multiple options, we decided to utilize the CodeRED system, as it allows us to continue providing the same service with enhanced options and abilities. We encourage all citizens who live or work in Lafourche Parish to sign up for the service online and enter their cell phone numbers to be contacted in the event of an emergency.”
President Cantrelle echoed Sheriff Webre’s comments. “As technology evolves, more and more people are on mobile devices than ever before,” said Cantrelle. “Along with Sheriff Webre, we are encouraging all citizens who live and work in Lafourche Parish to sign up their cell phones for this service to receive time-sensitive information which can be vital in times of emergency.”
Residents can register by going to the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office website (www.lpso.net) or the Lafourche Parish Government website (www.lafourchegov.org) and clicking on the CodeRED link on the homepages. Residents and businesses who wish to enroll by telephone, or need more information, please contact the Lafourche Parish Government Office of Emergency Preparedness at (985) 532-8174.