Residents are encouraged to update CodeRED contacts

TUESDAY, JUNE 24 -- Last night the City of Brunswick experienced a severe thunderstorm that produced a tornado. There has been concern expressed about the lack of a warning from the outdoor warning sirens. The outdoor warning sirens were removed from service in August of 2008, following security concerns due to numerous false alarms being set off by hackers. Upon review and the availability of technological advancements, the City opted to contract with the CodeRED system for emergency contacts. Through our partnership with Brunswick Hills Township, their residents are also covered by the service.

While the sirens were mainly to alert those outside, the mass notification system CodeRED was determined to be the best overall solution as it can place calls directly to home phones or mobile phones, or utilize text and email depending on the situation. The service can be used for many other situations and has been used successfully to notify residents of missing persons, amber alerts and flooding assistance, to name a few.

The City relies on the expertise of the National Weather Service to issue the weather alerts associated with CodeRED. Residents must opt in to receive the weather alerts and unfortunately some have not signed up to be notified of weather alerts. However, as Brunswick experienced last evening, a severe thunderstorm warning means that the storms could bring damaging winds, large hail or tornadoes without further notice, as the National Weather Service and local meteorologists have confirmed. As with any warning system, it is only basic information that encourages residents to take shelter and utilize local media outlets for more information. In this case the local media reported that there were not any weather signatures indicating a tornado and no tornado warnings were issued so the outdoor warning system would not have been activated.

Last night the CodeRED call went out at 6:56 p.m. based on the National Weather Service alert. The system placed 8,789 attempts on 7,272 phones. All of these calls were placed within two minutes of the National Weather Service bulletin.

We encourage all residents to visit the City of Brunswick website at www.brunswick.oh.us to update their CodeRED contact information. Our residents' safety is our utmost concern, and we encourage everyone to verify their enrollment today.

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