GATLINBURG (WATE) – The number of subscribers on the Sever County 911 CodeRed system have doubled since the November 2016 wildfires in Sevier County.
The service is used by Sevier County 911 to notify users via text, phone and email about emergency events and potentially, emergency weather events.
Prior to the November 2016 wildfires, 2,536 people subscribed for phone alerts, 983 subscribed for text alerts and 1,318 subscribed for email alerts.
Previous story: Sevier County alert system sign-ups grow after wildfires
As of May 2017, those numbers have grown. There are 4,862 people subscribed to phone alerts; 3,037 people subscribed to text alerts; and 1,958 people subscribed to email alerts. A new feature added in the last six months is a weather alert notification. These are sent by the National Weather Service through CodeRed. There are already 1,300 people signed up for the new version of these alerts.
On Thursday, during severe weather, all Sevier County subscribers should have received a notification about severe winds through whatever channel they subscribed. A second CodeRed notification was sent to subscribers within a five mile radius of Branam Hollow Road, near the areas where a fire was being attended to at the time.
On November 28, the first day of the Sevier County wildfires, there was not a CodeRed notification sent due to the choice, according to the Sevier County Mayor’s Office, that using TEMA notifications would reach more people. However, that notification did not send due to, “communication infrastructure failure.”