After two earthquakes shook Sparta, Georgia last week, people are wondering about one thing they did not hear. There are no sirens alerting people in Hancock County of severe weather and other potential disasters.
Leaders at the courthouse say they use another system. It is called Code Red.
"We don't have one because I had a siren guy come out and we GPS a whole lot of areas, but it takes grants. But Code Red, I can launch a call to every cell phone and landline phone in Hancock County,” says Emergency Management Agency Director Mario Chapple.
He says they used to have one siren at City Hall that went off every day at noon, but it did not alert them during severe weather. People had to rely on word of mouth, but that is not the case with the new system.
"There you can actually see it brings up the Code Red page, and these are the simple questions you have to fill out,” explains Chairman Commissioner Sistie Hudson, using her cell phone.
They say they use Code Red because it alerts those who have signed up of severe weather by text, phone call, and email.
"Like Code Red, for example, is a feasible idea for us and it works being as we are in this new age of technology. We may not get every single person, but we're going to get more than we normally would,” says Commissioner Borderick Foster.
They say the electronic system is much cheaper than sirens.
"The Code Red System cost us about $7,600. They can't afford sirens. It seemed like it was well over $100,000. Not even sure if that would've been adequate coverage as well, because, you know, it is a very large county,” says Hudson, a county that says sirens are a thing of the past and using technology to keep the people in their area up to date is the way to go.
The commissioners say the closest county with a weather siren system is Baldwin County. Baldwin also uses the Code Red System in addition to having sirens.