New public alert system in Columbus County

Posted by Debra Worley - email

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Officials with the Emergency Management Department in Columbus County have a new system to alert residents.

They are now using a "reverse 911" system called Code Red to warn county residents over the phone about severe weather or hazmat situations.

The system is capable of sending up to 60,000 calls per hour to specific people affected by a focused situation, or in the case of a widespread emergency to the entire population.

According to Emergency Management Deputy Director Kay Worley, the need for the system came after a tornado killed eight people in Riegelwood in November 2006.

"We're just encouraging everyone to make sure they do sign in," said Worley.  "This is a very important system, and it will be a benefit to the citizens of the county."

To sign up for the free alert service, visit the county's website at

©2009 WECT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.