Thanks to a new emergency notification system, Faulkner County residents will now be able to receive emergency and weather alerts directly on their phones.

The Office of Emergency Management has initiated Code Red, a program that will send alerts to registered phones.

OEM director Shelia Maxwell said the program will allow city and county agencies to send out immediate telephone notifications when residents need to be informed of a situation. 

"This is a great system, and we’re really excited about it," Maxwell said. "It’s a way to rapidly notify residents of public safety issues."

Code Red can send out alerts for a variety of circumstances, including a missing child, chemical spill or evacuation. Residents can also choose to sign up to receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service. The weather alerts are pinpointed to the resident’s address, instead of just a zip code, Maxwell said.

Code Red has been in the planning stages for some time, but funding was just recently approved by the Faulkner County Quorum Court.

Maxwell encourages all residents and businesses to sign up for the free service.

"If you don’t sign up, you may not get notified," Maxwell said.

Residents can visit www.faulknercounty.org and click on the Code Red link to learn more or sign up for the service. Those without access to the Internet can call the Office of Emergency Management at 501-450-4935 to register their information in the system.

(Staff writer Stephanie Fischer can be reached by e-mail at stephanie.fischer@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1238. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit.)