Olivette uses new 'Code Red' system to alert residents during storm


by KMOV.com staff


Posted on April 12, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 12 at 4:40 PM

(KMOV.com) -- While the cleanup continues in Hazelwood, a nearby community is gauging a new emergency warning system that alerted hundreds about severe weather during this week's storm.

Olivette used its new alert system called "Code Red" for the first time on Wednesday night. The system makes robo-calls to landlines and cell phones, and sends out texts and emails as well.

With storms rolling through the St. Louis area, the "Code Red" system sent out a message reading, "...a tornado warning has been issued for your area...please take immediate action and move to a secure location for your protection."

Police Chief Rick Knox gives the system high marks, but said only about 900 of Olivette's 7,700 residents have signed up. During city-wide emergencies, the automated calls go out to all homes, but residents have to sign up for weather warnings.

Anna Poger of Olivette said she would rely on sirens or television warnings in the past. With the new system, she gets a call or text to her cell phone.

"...I think it's a great system...because we can know really quickly, fast and head downstairs," said Poger.

The system put out four phone calls and alerts on Wednesday night, all linked to updates from the National Weather Service. 

Olivette has a three-year contract for the "Code Red" alert system, which cost about $9,000.

"...I'm really pleased with this system," said Knox. "Worth the money, without a doubt."