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City moves to LincAlerts for emergency messaging system

Thursday, March 28, 2024
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The city of Ruston is changing its public emergency alert system effective April 1.

The current CodeRED system will be replaced by LincAlerts, the same program used by the parish.

The switch not only enables the city to customize non-emergency alerts, but also saves taxpayers slightly more than $7,600 a year in contract costs. LincAlerts is being provided at no charge to all 64 parishes in the state through the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

LincAlerts is powered by Rave Mobile, and like CodeRED, is free to users. It can push out mass notifications for all the parish or ones specific to a municipality. Alerts are received via text, phone, or email.

Residents can register for the service here.

LincAlerts is beneficial to the city partly because it offers features CodeRED doesn’t, Dusty Hampton, Ruston’s IT/telecom director, said.

For example, more than one address can be entered, allowing users to get alerts for where they live and where they work, so long as both addresses are in Lincoln Parish.

Users can sign into their account to update the type of notifications they receive.

Ruston residents who had previously signed up for LincAlerts can log in to their account and opt in for specialized non-emergency notification such as events happening downtown or at the city sports complex.

Everyone who registers will automatically receive emergency alerts.

So far, residents seem to be opting into LincAlerts at a higher rate than they did CodeRED, Hampton said.

More than 400 people have opted into the Ruston-specific LincAlerts since the city began pushing the new system this week. At its peak, CodeRED had about 1,000 subscribers, Hampton said.