Severe weather warnings with “the capacity to save lives” are now available in a new form for residents and businesses in several Dayton-area cities.
Those in Centerville, Germantown, Kettering, Miamisburg, Moraine, Oakwood, Springboro and West Carrollton can have access to weather alerts as part of CodeRED services by the Miami Valley Communications Council.
Businesses and residents in the eight MVCC-member cities are encouraged to sign up for the service, Centerville Communications Director Kate Bostdorff said in an email.
“This additional service has the capacity to save lives by alerting families to impending weather,” she said. “One of the biggest advantages is that this system is precise enough to target an area of impact so that only those individuals who are affected by an emergency situation will be notified.”
CodeRED is a system the MVCC has employed for several years to alert users to issues such as fire emergencies, missing persons and evacuation notices.
It sends notifications to landlines and cell phones; sends emails, texts and social media messages; and can notify devices for those with hearing impairments, according to the communications council.
Expanding the service to include weather warnings happened after a recent inquiry about the possibility, said Jay Weiskircher, MVCC executive director.
“We did some checking and found out it was available,” he said. “So, everybody concluded that that’s a good service to be able to provide to people.”
Notifications go out to subscribers when the National Weather Service issues an alert, Oakwood Safety Director Alan Hill said.
The MVCC uses NWS information to pinpoint a storm’s direction and speed, officials said. CodeRED “geographically targets notifications to reach only those in the projected path of the storm,” the communications council said in a release.
This increases the relevance of alerts while “reducing false alarms,” the MVCC said.
Participants in the MVCC’s program can sign up for the weather warnings on their city’s websites or at mvcc.net, officials said.
The service is an “additional layer of protection” to those who sign up, said Kettering Community Information Manager Mary Azbill.
Subscribers can choose to be alerted to all warnings or choose particular types, including flash floods, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and winter storms, according to the MVCC.