When a reverse 911 call alerting some Mammoth residents about power outages went out in the middle of the storms earlier this week, cell phone-only users were by and large left out. The reverse 911 system is dependent upon the fact that landline users are already in a database as customers of their landline company. The same is not true for cell phone users.
Depending on how you look at it, the relatively inaccessibility is both boon and liability; a boon when political robocalls bombard landline users but a liability when a true emergency, such as fire, is threatening home or property.
But cell phone users do have a choice. Mammoth Lakes and all Mono County residents can access the same warning system, if they so chose. It requires a few minutes of time to register through the county sheriffs department.
Here's how it works:
The county utilizes what is known as the CodeRed Emergency Alert System when a critical incident or emergency situation takes place within the county. This system is a database of resident and citizen information for use only in critical and emergency situations. When residents and citizens enter their information into the CodeRed Emergency Alert System, they are added to a nationwide database set exclusively for emergency community alerts in emergency situations. To register for the CodeRed emergency alerts, log on to www.monosheriff.org and click on the CodeRed Community Notification System link.
The CodeRed system has also joined the technology bandwagon by introducing the release of the new CodeRed Mobile Alert Public Safety app for smart phones. This app will not only benefit the residents of Mono County but also the travelers and visitors to the area. Smart phones with the new app will be alerted with a push notification along with the voice file of the alert for up to 24 hours after the alert has been issued. This is a free app and is currently available for the Apple iPhone via download from iTunes. The Android app will be available soon. For more information on the CodeRed Mobile Alert app, please visit www.ecnetwork.com/iphone/iphone/coderedmobilealert.