By Jim Hughes, Command Information OfficerFebruary 9, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (Feb. 9, 2012) -- Members of the Fort Rucker community can be among the first to know when severe weather threatens or security issues arise when they sign up for an emergency notification system offered by the post.
Local Army officials contracted with CodeRED to provide instant emergency notification via voice, email or text messages in August, according to Manny Alvarado, DPTMS' chief of Plans, Operations and Mobilization Division.
"CodeRED gives us an additional venue to provide information to our community in an effort to keep them safe -- whether it is from Mother Nature threatening or an intruder on the installation," he said. "The system gives us the ability to inform the community in the event there is an emergency on post, where it is and what actions to take."
In order to receive these types of notifications, people must register -- an easy process done on the Web, Alvarado said.
"The process is simple, they just follow the link on the Fort Rucker main page and it takes them to the CodeRED website," he said. "Then they just enter the information required and submit. Once they complete the registration, they will immediately start receiving weather notifications as issued by the National Weather Service and the installation operations center."
The system requires registrants to enter their name, phone number, physical address and email address where they want the alerts sent. The service will provide tailored weather watches and warnings based on their geographical location, said Willie Worsham, plans and operations specialist at the IOC.
"When we were testing the system, the signup process went pretty quick," he said. "I signed up, and shortly after that I was mowing my lawn and received a weather alert on a severe storm coming to my area. I quit mowing, put away my equipment and within five minutes, the storm was there with dangerous lightning, rain and hail."
The system taps into the National Weather Service for warnings, and by using the address provided, it can tailor what messages people receive, based on their selection upon registration, according to company officials. This allows community members living in Dothan to hear about Dothan-specific warnings, while someone living on Fort Rucker would receive Rucker-specific watches and warnings.
Alerts issued on security threats or weather alerts specific to the installation will come directly from the Fort Rucker IOC.
"We'll send out the local non-weather emergency notifications to the Fort Rucker community to ensure the information is getting to the community as quickly as possible," Alvarado said. "This two-pronged approach will ensure our people are in the know quickly and accurately, and give our people a chance to prepare for whatever may happen."
He added that once people enter their information, they need to keep it updated.
"The system is only as good as the information provided," Alvarado said. "When people move or change their phone numbers or email addresses, they need to make sure the system has the most up-to-date information or they won't be getting the notifications."
The safety and well-being of the entire Fort Rucker community is a top concern of leadership at the post, and officials hope everyone here will take advantage of the free alert system. That said, signing up is completely voluntary, Alvarado said.
"It's free, it's simple, it's valuable information," he said. "And if you don't like the service, you can always remove your registration from the service provider."
To sign up for the notifications, just go the Fort Rucker website at www.rucker.army.mil/codered and follow the link to the company's website where you will register for the service.
For more on the program, see the website, or call the IOC at 255-9777.