ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – When disaster strikes, the situation can turn dire in a matter of seconds. That’s where Abilene’s CodeRED alert system thrives. A modern method of disseminating potentially life-saving alerts and emergency information to a large portion of the public.

“It is the new modern version of tornado outdoor warning system sirens,” said Abilene Emergency Management Coordinator Vincent Cantu.

Inside the Emergency management command center

Abilene citizens are not automatically enrolled but can sign up for CodeRED through the city website.

Those subscribed to the CodeRED system will receive texts, emails and phone calls when any number of disaster situations appear imminent. Cantu said they are able to utilize the system to warn of anything from tornadoes, freezes, flooding and earthquakes to chemical leaks, hail, and so much more.

“It’s our way of telling community members the most pertinent information in the timeliest way possible,” Cantu shared.

The system has been in place for a number of disaster events in Abilene. City Deputy Fire Chief Michael Burden said the work done by the Emergency management team, like CodeRED, has proven invaluable in developing coordinated responses.

“We’re fortunate in that we are on ground zero which is where we want to be… but we need all those other people that’s just gonna help make everything work better,” said Burden.

Cantu said CodeRED is only a portion of the emergency response system the city would like to employ. Currently, the city is gathering funds to purchase new outdoor sirens capable of relaying vital information as well as sounding an alarm in the face of severe situations.

“We’re gonna use every means that we have necessary in order to make you aware that you should take action,” Cantu shared.

Together the CodeRED system and sirens will form what Cantu calls an emergency response ‘ecosystem.’ These measures ensure that everyone will be alerted when danger is posed to residents.