Missouri Counties Switch Emergency Notification System Providers

CivicReady doesn't have a data cap, and it's likely to cost less money than the previous provider, CodeRED.

by Alex Lindley, Moberly Monitor-Index, Mo. / May 26, 2017

(TNS) -- MOBERLY, Mo. — Soon, residents of Moberly and Randolph County will no longer receive notifications from the CodeRED emergency notification system in the event of severe weather or other possible dangers. Those notifications will soon come from a new provider called CivicReady.

Among the benefits local officials said the new system has is more functionality. Also, it's likely to cost less.

"We can set up different groups of recipients and use it not only for emergency notifications, but for notifications in general — the Parks Department might start using the system, for example," said Moberly City Manager Brian Crane. "If the pool is closed down or a baseball game is canceled one day, the group of people who might be interested in those events might get a notification."

Of course, the system will also be used to send out emergency notifications and warnings for issues like severe weather. This new provider, however, won't place a limit on the number of notifications the city and county can send out.

"We could have used CodeRED for more things, but it wasn't feasible because it limited us to an amount of data space we could use," said Randolph County Presiding Commissioner John Truesdell. "You got this data month by month, and you had X amount of usage. We saved ours for emergencies only."

With CodeRED, exceeding the data caps would result in an additional fee to Randolph County and Moberly, Truesdell said. CivicReady doesn't have a data cap, and it's likely to cost less money than CodeRED did, Crane said.

"(The city of Moberly) currently budgets $7,500 a year for CodeRED, and the county does the same for $15,000 total," Crane said. "We anticipate the new price will be between $10,000 and $15,000 total."

Jim Charrier, emergency management director for Moberly and Randolph County, praised the added flexibility of the new system and asked for the cooperation of Randolph County residents as the local governments transition to CivicReady.

"We're looking for methods to transfer who is currently in the CodeRED system over," he said. "It's still a voluntary notification process — you still need to be in the system to receive notifications."

Charrier said officials are always looking to have more people sign up to receive emergency notifications.

Randolph County and the city of Moberly recently drew up documents to remove themselves from the joint agreement with CodeRED, but both entities are still being served by the company — until the new agreement with CivicReady takes effect.

Crane said officials are hoping to get the new system fully up and running by the beginning of July.

©2017 Moberly Monitor-Index, Mo. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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