City, county residents urged to add cell phones to Code Red alert system

Published 2:47 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Code Red, the city and countywide emergency alert system, has been notifying city and county residents about severe weather and other emergencies since 2013, but cell phone technology is making the database “obsolete.”

“When Code Red started out they had a database of all landline telephone numbers and landlines are going away; more people are using cell phones,” said Bill Ford, an IT technician for the City of Vicksburg. “Our database has gotten obsolete.”

In fact, Ford said, city officials became concerned after a recent water emergency in the city highlighted the database issue, prompting a renewed call for city and county residents need to add their cell phones to the Code Red system.

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Tracey Porter, deputy Warren County Emergency Management director, said there are three ways county residents can sign up for Code Red.

“They can go to the county website under the emergency management department,” Porter said. “There’s a link there that says ‘Code Red’ and click on that and it’ll ask for address, name and there’s room for two phone numbers.” Residents can choose which warnings they want to receive.

Secondly, county residents can also text the words “alertwarrencounty” to 99411. The number will send back a link to sign up. “That’s the easiest way,” Porter said.

Finally, county residents can call the emergency management office at 601-636-1544 to get added to the system.

Ford said Vicksburg residents can sign up for Code Red through the city’s website or on the Code Red website at

They can also sign up for Code Red directly from a smartphone by texting “Vicksburgcodered” to 99411 and following the instructions in the text message they receive.

Ford said the city has two separate warning systems — a text system that sends a text message when a warning is issued, and Code Red. He said people can sign up for the text system by texting “VICKSBURG” to 844-371-7878.

When residents sign up for Code Red they have the option of getting a telephone call, text or email with the alerts. The system can also transmit to people who are hearing impaired through a PVD device.


About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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