Parish residents can now get weather alerts

Published 1:26 am Monday, July 13, 2009

VIDALIA — Concordia Parish residents leery of severe weather now have a chance to receive pre-recorded telephone calls whenever a severe weather warning is issued.

The CodeRed system, which was recently installed in Adams County, is now active in Concordia Parish.

All of the parish municipalities, the police jury, the sheriff’s office, the Concordia Fire District No. 2 and the 911 communications district partnered together to contract with the Emergency Communications Network to bring the program to the area.

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Even though the Emergency Communications Network is based in Ormand Beach, Fla., it is able to warn locals about storms by watching official storm stations, Concordia Parish Emergency Director Morris White said.

“As the storm comes into these weather stations and it looks like it will affect us, (the program) will call people,” White said.

The CodeRed system can make 60,000 calls in an hour.

“I hope we don’t have to use it, but I understand that it is a good tool for the safety of the people, and it allows people to know about any hazards,” Police Jury President Melvin Ferrington said.

Residents who want to receive the calls must sign up for the service. Online registration for the system can be done at or

Both land lines and cell phones may be registered in the system.

The system is geographically based, so when an incident arises only the affected area is called rather than the entire parish.

The system will also be used to alert locals of other critical situations, such as a missing child or a gas leak.

Those calls will be automatically called to numbers already in the parish 911 system database, but in a news release from the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Randy Maxwell said residents who only use cell phones will need to register their address along with their cell phone number.

“Should a critical incident arise in their neighborhood, we’ll have that address to target — along with their neighbors — and their cell phones and land lines to contact and make sure they are aware of the situation, whatever it may be,” Maxwell said.

Tests to the system were done last week.

Those without computer access to sign up may contact CPSO Capt. Frankie Carroll at 318-336-5231, 318-757-3162 or 318-386-2200 to do so.

They may also contact 911 Director David Cobb at 318-336-5671.

Maxwell said residents cannot assume they are in the database.

“We want to make this as easy as possible for everyone in the parish to sign up for this essential warning system,” he said.