East Texas Council of Governments is making it easier for residents to be alerted of emergencies through its new “Rave Mobile Safety” program.

“ETCOG provides a Regional Emergency Notification System that is available to 13 counties,” ETCOG officials said. “We are now changing from ‘Code Red’ to ‘Rave Mobile Safety’ to offer more service and better options for coverage in the region. “

The telephone communication service, which is provided by a Homeland Security grant, allows the county Emergency Management Coordinator to quickly notify citizens about emergency situations such as: tornados and storm events; drinking water contamination; utility outage; evacuation notice and route; missing person; fires or floods; bomb threat; hostage situation; chemical spill or gas leak; and other emergency incidents where rapid and accurate notification is essential.

“You sign up to receive alerts/notifications) in an inclement weather event, a missing person, a lost child, a fire, flood, bomb threat — whatever it may be,” explained Harrison County Judge Chad Sims. “Even at a school district level, you get a notification for that event.”

The new system will also save the county money, as the county had to pay for the former Code Red program. Thanks to a Homeland Security grant, ETCOG will fund the newer notification system, Rave, at no charge.

“So that is something we’re switching over to. Certainly I’d like to encourage our citizens to go sign up for Rave,” Judge Sims urged.

“You can sign up for Rave, get the same notifications coming through your phone, like a message through the app or get a phone call on your land line, telling you about the event,” said Sims.

Residents may sign up for the notification system at https://www.smart911.com/smart911/ref/reg.action?pa=harrisoncountytexas or by going to the Harrison County website, harrisoncountytexas,org, and click the “sign up for emergency alerts for Harrison County” link.

“Rave Mobility sets itself apart by offering unlimited minutes and texting,” ETCOG officials said.

“IPAWS and Weather Warning were included and RAVE offered more users on the platform so more cities could participate,” ETCOG further noted. “ETCOG and its participants will work on changing all phone records over to the new system and will need to release a ‘change notification’ to the public through a Mass Notification Alert with directions how they can opt into the new service by registering their mobile phones.”