New Code Red alert system helps Page residents stay informed
The City of Page is making it easier for residents to stay informed and to receive Page-specific emergency alerts. City Manager Darren Coldwell first announced the new system at the June 14, 2023, city council meeting.
“Kane has been working on, under my direction and under the police and fire, a new alerting system for the City of Page in case there's ever an emergency,” Coldwell said.
The new Code Red system is now operational. The online software, in addition to sending emergency alerts, enhances the city’s efforts to keep Page residents informed about events and public meetings.
The Chronicle met with Page’s information technology director, Kane Scott to learn more.
“What we want the citizens to know is if they go to the cityofpage.org website now, right below the main picture, is this emergency notification system,” Scott said. “And what this new system is doing is it's allowing them to not only get an alert if there’s something big emergency-wise, but it’s allowing them to sign up for community meetings – i.e., council meetings and whatever meetings and also events that are coming up. So the event people will be sending out reminders that the balloon regatta thing is today or we’re having July 4 or movies in the park or stuff like that. Simply by clicking on that, it takes them to an explanation page that tells them all about it.”
Page residents who don’t go to council meetings, read the local newspaper or visit the city’s webpage regularly are sometime surprised by city projects in the works and protest. Uniformed citizens often hear development news long after advertised public meetings were held, long after months or years of time and public funds were invested. In other words, uninformed citizens potentially waste public resources.
Page’s updated website demonstrates its transparency and its efforts to keep community members informed on every aspect of city government. Online visitors can browse the city’s finances, read the minutes of council and board meetings, or read the discussion and action agendas scheduled for upcoming meetings.
“People are still saying that we're not getting enough information out, but we’re trying very hard to put this data everywhere,” Scott said. “We're trying to do more ‘instant.’ So something that goes in the mail, you might not get or you get late. This will do even more. So they’ve just got to sign up.”
Code Red is free, and users have the option to receive notices by text, voice or email. The basic setup includes emergency alerts like unsafe water warnings or building fires. Emergencies in Page might be rare, but citizens can also choose to receive event and public meeting reminders.
The system is still new to Page, and more data will be loaded for upcoming events and meetings. Scott said the alerts and reminders will be brief and include links for additional information.
City Council meetings provide downloadable “PDF Agenda Packets” that are often quite large. The Aug. 23 packet, for example, is 139 pages of text, images and diagrams – too large for a text, phone or even an email message.
“Everything is based off the website,” Scott said. “You can easily get to all of the public meetings. And the other button we made even better, ClearGov, which is a revenue project, expenditures and your tax dollars at work. If you click there, then you can get in and see – I mean, you can literally go to our checkbook and search.”
Scott wants all Page residents to go to cityofpage.org homepage, “click on the emergency notification system and sign up.”