Faulkner County, Arkansas, is a large, mostly rural, county. The largest city is Conway, Arkansas, but smaller towns are part of its make up, also. These smaller towns do not always have emergency warning systems available to all of its residents. These warning systems could save lives, if they were available.
To solve this problem, the County of Faulkner Office of Emergency Management has initiated a Code Red program that will send an alert to registered phones. This service will allow city and county agencies to contact residents via telephone warning them of an imminent danger approaching.
The area is prone to flash floods, tornadoes, and dangerous thunder storms. In the Winter, roads are closed due to icing. This service will alert residents of any situation that might arise that proves dangerous to their welfare. Any public safety events will be immediately dispatched, via telephone, to residents.
This system will not be on a zip code basis, but on the individual resident’s home address. Business establishments can be included in the alert, if they will register their number with the Emergency Management Office.
Funding for his project was recently approved by the Faulkner County Quorum Court. This is a free service, but residents must sign up either by phone or Internet. The website is www.faulknercounty.org and click on the Code Red link. Phone customers can register for this service by calling 501-450-4935. If you wish to list your home phone and cell phone, this can be done, also.
If local residents have an unlisted number or primarily use a cell phone, they should contact the office to register.
If there is an alert, a message will be left, if no one answers the phone. The caller identification will be Emergency Communications Network and the number 866-419-5000 will appear on the screen.
The National Weather Service will provide the warnings based on their radar. This agency is one of six scientific agencies that make up the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They will notify the proper agencies when a dangerous situation arises. The local agencies will then contact the registered phone numbers.
Faulkner County does not have a local television station that serves the entire county, so the warnings issued by the media will not help the residents that live in rural areas. This system will enable all residents, who register, to be aware of the pending situations, as they arise.
It is advised that all Faulkner County residents sign up for this free service, especially the rural areas. For additional information or questions, , the Office of Emergency Management may be reached at 501-450-4935 or the website www.faulknercounty.org.
References: Log Cabin Democrat article by Stephanie Fischer