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New emergency alert system launched in Benzie County

The Benzie County Emergency Management partnered with an emergency alert system to let you know of any weather issues, missing people, evacuations or water issues.

BENZIE COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- Benzie County residents will now have a new way to make sure they are are aware and safe.

The Benzie County Emergency Management partnered with an emergency alert system to let you know of any weather issues, missing people, evacuations or water issues.

The new system is called Code Red.

"It's for mass notification, so we can if we have an event of sometime if it's a storm event or weather event of some type or lost child or hazardous material event we can notify the public very quickly," said Frank Post, Benzie County Emergency Manager.

Frank Post says the notifications can be sent out through email, text, land lines or cell phones.

During certain emergencies, the people living in the areas effected will be notified through Code Red.

"For example we had a water break in Beulah, that's a very small community, but when we had to push out a notification we had to do it through the emergency alert system well unfortunately when we did that notified all of northern Michigan of that when all we had to do is talk to Beulah," said Post.

The "Code Red"system will also send out a push notification to first responders needing to report to an emergency situation.

Benzie County officials hope this is something that will help better response times.

"For our dispatch center its very beneficial because they can push out a notification to several individuals instead of making individual phone calls so they can do it one time," said Post.

The county has also joined the Smart911 Program.

"It's based on the phone number so you or I can create a profile based on our phone number that when we call 911 it alerts the dispatcher that this person has a Smart911 profile you click on it and you can see medical information, emergency contacts, how many cats and dogs you have," said Ron Berns, Benzie County Central Dispatch Director.

County officials say the personal information can only be seen when 9-1-1 is called by that phone number.

"Both these things were doing makes it easier and faster and keep them informed," said Berns.

Smart911 is up and running.

The Code Red program is expected to launch next month.

Code Red is free but you have to sign up for the service on the Benzie County website.


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