When entering the hamlet, a sign promoting Code Red – the new emergency notification system in town, comes into view. This program enables the town to send out texts, emails and phone calls in the event of an emergency.
When Code Red debuted in January, the first official announcement advised residents about a water main break at the intersection of Route 120 and Seven Bridges Road. Several people expressed their appreciation of the system to Town Administrator Penny Paderewski, noting that they had altered their routes thereby avoiding the area. When Storm Nemo arrived, alerts regarding the conditions of local roads were disseminated and news was posted on Facebook and Twitter.
Code Red was implemented by the town in response to feedback by the community. “People said they weren’t getting enough information from the town during Sandy. That’s one of the reasons we put it in,” Paderewski said.
The Nixel system will continue to be utilized by the police department for matters concerning public safety. To receive the code red alerts, a separate registration is required. “It’s really important that they sign up,” Paderewski continued. For those who do not have access to the internet, registration may be completed in person at town hall or on the phone. As of January 29th, 8,232 people had signed up.
Christopher Miller, spokesman for the Office of Emergency Management in NYC said that a similar system, known as Notify NYC, is “just one tool in our toolbox.” Information is also distributed via Facebook, Twitter and the media. Notify NYC was used most recently during Hurricane Sandy. A warning about Storm Nemo was issued by the National Weather Service.