Today, Coconino County will conduct a large-scale test of a new system that warns residents during emergencies. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, officials are hoping it will be an effective replacement of the county’s old emergency system.
More than 40,000 people will receive phone calls today as part of Code Red. It replaces Ready Coconino, which county emergency officials say is outdated and cumbersome. According to the Arizona Daily Sun, the county stopped using Ready Coconino after receiving a number of complaints from residents who said the system failed during monsoon floods last year.
Code Red is designed to alert those in Coconino County to wildfire, snowstorms, thunderstorms and floods. It won’t make county-wide calls during emergency situations, but rather only contact those who could be affected based on where they live.
Officials are encouraging residents to sign up for the service now through the county’s website as an early and potentially dangerous fire season ramps up.
Local forest managers say wildfire danger is high in northern Arizona. Today, Coconino County and the cities Flagstaff and Prescott along with the Coconino, Kaibab, Tonto and Prescott national forests implemented Stage 1 fire restrictions. Next Tuesday, the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests will also put a ban in place.