Residents encouraged to sign up for emergency notifications

Staff Writer

Following a severe storm that struck Hot Spring County Monday afternoon, city and county officials are encouraging residents to sign up for emergency notifications through CodeRed.

According to Hot Spring County Judge Dennis Thornton county tornado sirens are not functional.
Thornton noted that in 2007 the county received a grant of more than $500,000 to install sirens across the county. When all of the sirens worked, only about 8 percent of residents could hear the alarms.
When Thornton took office, only four of the sirens still functioned and only about 1.5 percent of people would be notified in the case of an emergency, he said.

“It was just not a good system,” Thornton said.

County officials include Hot Spring County Department of Emergency Management Director Terry Eubanks began pricing repairs. They learned that the sirens had become obsolete and the county could not buy parts to make repairs.
The cost to replace the sirens would be about $25,000 per siren plus $10,000 in annual maintenance, Thornton said.

When researching other options, officials came across CodeRed. The cost for this program is $10,000 a year. Half of this cost is paid through grant funding. The rest is split between the county and the city of Malvern.

Tornado sirens within the city of Malvern still work, but did not sound Monday because there was no threat of a tornado within the city, according to Eubanks.
These sirens are scheduled to be tested today at noon, if there were no weather threats.

Through CodeRed, residents who sign up for the free notification system can receive urgent messages on a computer, landline or cellphone, Thornton said.

On the system, residents can select specific notifications they would like to receive.
To sign up for the program, residents can visit the city of Malvern or the Hot Spring County website. A link to sign up is also available at www.facebook.com/HSCDEM.
Individuals who do not have internet access can sign up by calling the Department of Emergency Management office at 501-332-4911 Ext. 1212 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

During Monday’s storm, some trees were uprooted causing power outages.
Traffic lights along East Page and Main street were struck by lightening
No severe damage or injuries have been reported, Eubanks said.

Category: