HOPKINTON — An upgrade to the CodeRED alert system is enhancing the towns’ ability to communicate with the public, including an expanded feature that allows for those with mobile and VoIP phones as a primary number to now sign up.
The Hopkinton Emergency Management Agency is encouraging residents and business owners to sign up or update their information through the CodeRED emergency alert and notification system, the town’s reverse alert system, ahead of a scheduled system test at 10 a.m. on Sept. 12.
“Residents and businesses are encouraged to visit our website and update their contact information, in particular those individuals who have unlisted phone numbers, who have changed their phone number or address within the past year, and those who use a cellular phone or VoIP phone as their primary number,” said Hopkinton Emergency Management Director Ronald J. MacDonald III.
“The more residents who actively add or update their contact information in the emergency database, the better able we are to protect people and property,” he said.
CodeRED is a service provided through OnSolve, an international solutions firm, and is one of the most used emergency alert systems in the United States. MacDonald said the CodeRED system allows town officials to effectively reach residents and personnel by using the system’s capabilities to send telephone calls, text messages, emails and social media posts to inform residents and better protect life and property.
According to the company’s website, the product can deliver messages in a wide variety of ways including geo-targeting specific neighborhoods to relay time-sensitive information to anyone who is signed up for the service. Messages can be sent using voice calls, email, SMS, IPAWS and more.
Hopkinton Police Capt. Mark Carrier said the system has proven to be a valuable resource for the community.
“There are a number of ways we can use this system,” Carrier said. “We could utilize it in the event of a public danger; we could use it to help us locate lost children or someone with Alzeheimer’s; we could send alerts in the event of something like a hurricane. It’s a fast, effective tool for communication.”
Carrier said the system expansion is designed to help the town reach a larger audience, especially as many residents and business owners “cut the cord,” often cancelling landline phone services, and instead move to more digital means of communication.
To sign up for alerts on your cell phone, text “HopkintonRI” to 99411. MacDonald notes that some cell phones or VoIP systems may require the information be manually entered into the system in order to receive calls.
Citizens may also sign up or update their contact information and address by visiting the Hopkinton Emergency Management Agency’s website, www.hopkintonri.org/emergency-management, and clicking the CodeRED logo. Those with questions may email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a voicemail at 401-377-2100.