Washoe County Starts More Efficient Emergency System
If there is an emergency situation in your neighborhood that calls for an evacuation, getting that cell phone call alert is now even easier.
The Washoe County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security has improved the notification system which alerts residents of an emergency in the area.
The new system is called "Code Red."
"So if the incident commander in the field decides to contact residents in a neighborhood, they can quickly be reached not only on their home phone, but also on their cellular telephone."
Washoe County Emergency Manager Aaron Kenneston says the emergency system needed an update after last year's Caughlin Fire.
He says first-responders will still use door-to-door notifications when brushfires and flooding occurs, but "Code Red" is much more efficient.
The system can call as many as 50,000 people in one hour. The county designed Code Red to only contact people in immediate danger. So, if a fire breaks out in a Reno neighborhood, folks in Sparks and other areas won't constantly be receiving alerts.
"Often we don't want mass evacuations when we're trying to bring fire trucks and police cruisers into the area, so it's all about targeting the right citizens as quickly as possible."
Code Red is a free service for everyone--and it's paid for completely off grant money--so it's not costing citizens anything.