Watauga County has selected a new emergency notification system to keep citizens and visitors informed about emergencies.

While the county has in the past used Code Red for emergency notifications, the selected Hyper-Reach to help bring this same life-saving capability to the area. Hyper-Reach is a state of the art mass emergency notification system designed specifically for public safety. The county expects to have the service fully operational by the end of this month.

Hyper-Reach will provide rapid notification of hazardous and urgent situations using a mix of telephone calls, text and email messages, and even TTY/TDD service for the hearing impaired. Citizens can also download the Hyper-Reach Anywhere app on their smartphone, allowing users to manage and monitor the alerts they receive.

Will Holt, Emergency Services Director for Watauga County, said in a press release that residents and people who work in Watauga County are encouraged to enroll now. Watauga County landlines are automatically enrolled, but you can enroll your cell phone and email address by texting ALERT to 828-475-8725 or online at Hyper-Reach.com/wataugasignup.

Hyper-Reach sends messages via automated telephone calls, text messaging (SMS), email, and social media, such as Twitter. Other uses of Hyper-Reach include Amber alerts, toxic chemical warnings, and armed shooter alerts.

In addition to 911 centers, Hyper-Reach is used by law enforcement, educational institutions, and corporations.