Waupaca County's new CodeRED system is a free program offering calls, emails, even text alerts for severe weather. That includes alerts for severe thunderstorms - something the National Weather Service doesn't provide.
"Unlike an outdoor warning siren, you're going to have your phone with you inside with you," says Deputy Emergency Management Director Eric Halverson. "When your windows are closed you're going to hear the notifications, and it's going to give you a message and tell you exactly what to do."
In Outagamie County, Emergency Management Director Christina Muller says the potential to warn residents about powerful thunderstorms makes additional alerts more appealing.
"If there is a severe thunderstorm warning, where we know there's a very credible threat to people who are outdoors then we would want to utilize a system to say hey this is a concern for you," she says. "But obviously, every severe thunderstorm warning does not reach that critical level."
She says that's where the alerts get complicated.
"There's a balance notifying the public of severe danger, and at the same time not over warning them either."
Her staff does utilize an M-Tel system, used primarily for amber alerts and law enforcement situations.
"There's ways to add on to that system and we are checking into that," says Muller.
An addition Waupaca County officials hope will keep their citizens safer.
"Everybody should be in it," says Halverson. "There's no cost, and if you want to be alerted, this is the way to go."
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