The Duncan Banner

April 9, 2013

Signing up to receive Duncan weather updates could be valuable this week

Duncan replaces CodeRED with ‘Blackboard’ for emergency alerts

Megan Bristow
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — With threats of severe weather looming today and tomorrow, the City of Duncan wants to keep residents informed and ready for any weather-related emergencies.

Residents should consider signing up for the Blackboard Connect service, the city’s newest mass notification platform, especially with the possibility of dangerous weather over the next few days.

Starting April 1, the City of Duncan began utilizing Blackboard Connect instead of CodeRED as a way to keep residents informed of weather-related news.

The replacement of CodeRED was a change approved by the Duncan City Council to allow for more communication with residents. Sergeant Patrick Norton of the Duncan Police Department said they were unable to transfer the users of  CodeRED to Blackboard.

Although all the numbers from the Duncan phone director were downloaded and placed into the system, Norton said some people could still be left out if they have recently changed their number or were not listed in the White Pages.

Residents can sign up to receive updates from the city by visiting the City of Duncan website or by calling the police department.

Anyone who signs up will automatically receive weather updates from the National Weather Service if the weather indicates it will affect them at their residence.

For this reason, those signing up will be asked for their home residence. This will also help residents receive information on events such as power outages or water leaks that will affect their neighborhood. Previously, this message had to be sent out to the whole town and could not be focused on a specific area of town. Norton said there should be no concerns in signing up for the service and giving the company personal information as it is used only to provide clients with more personalized information.

“They do not sell your information,” Norton said.

Residents will also receive Amber Alerts, Silver Alerts and other missing person alerts from the DPD that do not fit this criteria.

In the future, Norton said the service may also be utilized by the City of Duncan Utilities Department to let people know if their account is delinquent before service is turned off. It may also be used to advise residents of school closings.

Signing up allows residents to receive calls, text messages and/or emails with current news updates. After signing up, it is possible to opt out of the service if it proves to not be helpful. Users would have to go to the website and unsubscribe from the service.

Norton said the city has not yet used the service but expects to this week should the weather become severe enough to activate the alert.