Neosho County, Kansas residents will soon be able to receive emergency alerts on cell phones.
The Neosho County commission just approved the Code Red system that will help residents throughout the county, which Sheriff Jim Keath says will be efficient and helpful for everyone.
The system has a price tag of just more than $12,000, but that will be split between county emergency entities and the city of Chanute.
Code Red will handle warnings coming from the law enforcement community and the National Weather Service.
"When you get out in the rural areas, there are no outdoor warning systems or anything like that, so this offers, I think, a great system there to actually be able to notify both in town and out in the rural area residents," says Sheriff Keath.
Residents will be able to register their phones to receive the messages based on their location and the system will be able to make those alerts available to only the affected areas.
Code Red is not in place right now but is expected to be trained on and ready within the next month or two.
Sheriff Keath says on the emergency side, it will be more efficient for them to be able to warn residents of anything from man hunts to flooding to chemical spills.
"And it gives you that ability to instantly notify everyone in a geographical area, just by saying 'okay, we want to cover a three mile radius of this incident.'"
The sheriff says while this does not cut down on what law enforcement does to warn people, Code Red will be an efficiency tool to get the warning out quickly.
"Getting that early notice out there of this is what we're looking for. 'We need your help, to avoid this area because there's a problem.' I think it's going to prove very helpful."
Officials have been looking into the system for the past three years to see which system would be the most effective.
Sheriff Keath says there is not a cost to sign up for the program and he hopes as many Neosho County residents as possible will sign up.
Again, the service will not be available for the next month or so. Once it's ready we will post the info here on our website.