New Castle officials who were hampered in their attempts to communicate with the public during Hurricane Sandy are ready to unveil a new system to help keep residents and merchants informed in future emergencies.
The CodeRED Emergency Notification System could go on line as soon as this week once a test scheduled for next Thursday, Jan. 10 is completed. Town Administrator Penny Paderewski said that as of Friday about 4,500 residents and businesses had signed up for the alert.
Residents and merchants throughout New Castle are being urged to visit the town’s website, www.mynewcastle.org, and follow the CodeRED link on the upper left hand side of the home page to register. Everyone who enrolls by Jan. 10 will receive a call on Thursday sometime during the afternoon or evening as the company will reach out to every person who is in the database.
“They’ll try until they get everybody,” Paderewski said.
Paderewski urged all town residents and business owners to sign up and asked that people who have already registered help spread the word to friends and neighbors.
Each person who enrolls can list two telephone numbers, including cell phones, as well as email and text addresses. Citizens can still add their names to the list once the system goes on line, Paderewski said.
The purpose of the new alerts will enable town officials to be in contact with its residents and merchants when situations such as power outages and road closures take place.
Two weeks after Hurricane Sandy hit on Oct. 29, town officials announced that they would explore enhancing communications with residents after power was knocked out to about 90 percent of the town. Most residents who lost power remained in the dark from one to two weeks. Other than Nixle alerts, officials taped regular updates and placed those videos on the town’s website but with so many residents without power many did not have regular access to those.
Paderewski said the town will still have the Nixle alerts but those will be used primarily by the police department.
CodeRED is from Emergency Communications Network, the same company that provides the Amber Alert notifications, she said.
Any town resident who does not have Internet access can pick up a registration form at town hall on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or can call 914-238-4771 to request that a form be mailed to their home address.
At the town board’s next meeting on Jan. 8, Paderewski, DPW Commissioner Anthony Vaccaro and town resident Lyle Anderson, an information technology director and creator of New Castle’s website, will make a presentation to the public about the system. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8:15 p.m. at New Castle Town Hall, following a 7:45 p.m. work session.
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