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July 11. 2013 8:37PM

Nashua prepares to launch alert system

NASHUA — The city’s director of emergency management is preparing to launch a city-wide notification system later this month and is hopeful there will be heavy participation.

So far, more than 250 people have already pre-registered for the free CodeRED notification system that will be activated in Nashua in about two weeks, according to Justin Kates, director of emergency management.

“I am very happy with that number. It is a good start,” Kates said on Wednesday. Estimates indicate that about 43,000 residents will ultimately subscribe to Nashua’s CodeRED emergency alerts, but Kates is optimistic the city will far surpass that amount.

City officials approved a $108,000 contract with Emergency Communications Network, LLC for its notification system, which is used by multiple municipalities throughout New Hampshire. The contract includes three years of service.

Every city department — with the exception of the school district, which has its own notification system — will be able to use CodeRED.

According to Kates, every landline phone in Nashua will be automatically subscribed to the alerts, while residents with cell phones will have to subscribe manually.

Once subscribed, residents will be contacted via their home phones or cell phones with alert voice messages, text messages and/or emails.

Citizens will be able to apply to as few or as many alerts as they desire, including police department postings, fire notices, road closures, power outage updates, municipal meetings and more.

Subscribers do not have to be residents to sign up for the alerts, added Kates.

“People want to know what is going on in this community.

Residents, people who live in neighboring towns and people who work in Nashua want to be informed,” said Kates, who is trying to get the word out now so that as many people as possible will be able to subscribe once the system is activated.

Pre-registration is already available by visiting the city’s website.

Kates said individuals who pre-register will receive an email from the city notifying them of when the system has been activated later this month, with instructions on how to officially subscribe.

He plans on using social media sites to inform large numbers of people about Nashua’s CodeRED program, and is also considering distributing stickers to local businesses with a QR code, or matrix barcode, so that patrons can scan it into their smartphones and have direct access to the CodeRED registration page.

In the next two weeks, city staff with access to the notification system will be trained on how to send out alerts. Once the training is complete, the program will be activated, according to Kates.

To pre-register for the system, visit www.nashuanh.gov/codered.

khoughton@newstote.com


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