Last Updated on November 30, 2019 10:00 am
Starting this month Watauga County will switch to a new vendor for mass emergency notifications, that according to Fire Marshal/Emergency Management Coordinator Taylor Marsh.
Marsh tells WataugaOnline.com, “For the past several years, Watauga County has used Code Red for mass emergency notification system. This month, Watauga County will be switching to a new vendor for emergency alerting. Hyper-Reach will be the new emergency alerting system for all residents and visitors of Watauga County. The switch was made due to a lower cost and Hyper-Reach being more user friendly. “
Residents and people who work in Watauga County are encouraged to enroll now either by calling or texting “Alert” to 828 475-8725 or by going to the website http://hyper-reach.com/ncwataugasignup.html.
Marsh went on to add, “Emergency Alerting through Code Red has been used a great amount in Watauga County over the past several years and we want to stress the importance of ALL Watauga County residents signing up for the new alert system Hyper-Reach to ensure emergency notifications are reaching as many people as possible when an incident arises.”
In a press release by Hyper-Reach the company says, Hyper-Reach is a state of the art mass emergency notification system designed specifically for public safety. The county expects to have the service fully operational by the end of November 20, 2019.
Below is the remainder of the press release, which was issued on Wednesday, November 6, 2019
The new emergency alert system will provide rapid notification of hazardous and urgent situations using a mix of telephone calls, text and email messages, and even TTY/TDD service for the hearing impaired. The system sends thousands of these messages to geographically targeted households in seconds, and can simultaneously deliver them to an even broader audience via social media, as well as sending broadcast messages to most current mobile telephones (made since 2011) in an affected area by providing access to FEMA’s Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system.
“Our job is to protect the citizens of Watauga County as effectively and cost-effectively as possible.” said Will Holt, Emergency Services Director for Watauga County. “We reviewed all the major vendors for emergency notification service, and Hyper-Reach gave us everything we needed and more. We’re really excited about this new capability.”
The County plans to use the service primarily for alerts about weather and environmental hazards, criminal activity and missing persons. Landline phones are automatically enrolled for Community alerts, but Weather alerts to landline phones and Community and Weather alerts to mobile phones and email addresses are only included when people enroll. Residents and people who work in Watauga County are encouraged to enroll now either by calling or texting “Alert” to 828 475-8725 or by going to the website http://hyper-reach.com/ncwataugasignup.html.
Citizens can also download the Hyper-Reach Anywhere app on their smartphone. Hyper-Reach Anywhere is a free smartphone app that allows individual citizens to manage and monitor the alerts they receive, both for their home and office addresses and for other addresses they care about such as those of elderly relatives or friends.
“We’re honored to have been selected by Watauga County NC to provide its emergency alerts,” said Sam Asher, President of Hyper-Reach. “It’s gratifying to be part of an effort to save lives and protect property and we take that responsibility very seriously.”
Hyper-Reach (www.hyper-reach.com) is a mass notification system with over 15 years of experience in emergency messaging. Hyper-Reach sends messages via automated telephone calls, text messaging (SMS), email, and social media, such as Twitter. Other uses of Hyper-Reach include Amber alerts, toxic chemical warnings, and armed shooter alerts. In addition to 911 centers, Hyper-Reach is used by law enforcement, educational institutions, and corporations.
For more information about Hyper-Reach, go to www.hyper-reach.com or call 855-266-8439 (855 2-Notify).