Sign up under way for county’s new emergency alert system

Published 4:26 pm Monday, June 3, 2024

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NATCHEZ — Adams County is moving to another provider for emergency notification to residents for things like incoming storms and other life-threatening local emergencies.

Robert Bradford, Adams County Emergency Management Director, said in an effort to save taxpayer dollars, the county has chosen to contract with Hyper-Reach and is moving away from Code Red as its telephone-based mass notification system.

What that means to residents is if they want to receive those emergency notifications, they need to sign up for the alerts.

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Bradford said the numbers registered with Code Red will not automatically transfer over to the new system. Residents must re-register their numbers with Hyper-Reach.

“Our job is to protect the citizens of Natchez and Adams County as effectively and cost-effectively as possible,” Bradford said. “We reviewed all of the major vendors for emergency notification service, and Hyper-Reach gave us everything we needed at an unbelievable price. We’re excited about this new capability.”

He said the new emergency alert system will provide rapid notification of hazardous and urgent situations using a mix of telephone calls, text, and email messages, including TTY/TDD service for the hearing impaired.

The system sends thousands of these messages to geographically targeted households in seconds, and can simultaneously deliver them to an even broader audience via social media, as well as sending broadcast messages to most current mobile telephones — those made since 2011 — in an affected area by providing access to FEMA’s Wireless Emergency Alert system.

Bradford said the county plans to use the service primarily for alerts about weather, city or county events, environmental hazards, burn bans, community updates and missing persons.

Landline phones are automatically enrolled for community alerts, but weather alerts to landline phones and community and weather alerts to Voice over IP phones, mobile phones and email addresses are only included when people enroll, he said.

Residents and people who work in Natchez and Adams County are urged to enroll using a county address either by calling or texting the word “Alert” to 601-308-8999, or by going to the website

Residents can get emergency alerts via their Alexa-enabled smart speakers by just saying “Alexa, enable Hyper-Reach” and following the Alexa-provided instructions.

Residents can also download the Hyper-Reach Anywhere app on their smartphones. Bradford said the goal for Adams County is to enroll 85 percent of the county’s residents.

“We’re excited about the new mass notification system and would love to see at least 85 percent of residents signed up within the next three months,” he said.

“We still have CodeRed until July 31 to allow a smooth transition of systems. We will have some staff members and volunteers out next week at stores and local businesses assisting residents in signing up for the new alert system.”