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Yellowstone County conducts first test of new emergency alert system

Posted at 5:31 PM, Apr 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:49:29-04

BILLINGS –  Yellowstone County conducted its first test of the new digital emergency alert system, CodeRED, on Wednesday.

It’s a new high-speed emergency mass notification service that will allow the county to send alerts to those who are signed up for alerts about emergencies in the area.

The system is meant to replace the siren system currently used in the county.  Wednesday night is potentially the last time the county does a formal test of the emergency alert sirens.

KC Williams, the county emergency services director, said the sirens reach less than 1% of the area of the county and are only used to alert in a weather emergency.  CodeRED will allow the county to push out alerts via text, notification, phone call and email about emergencies – including evacuations, floods, hazardous material spills, weather and more.

The CodeRED system is free to sign up for, but the service will cost the city and county about $25,000 a year to use.

To sign up for CodeRED alerts, click here.