B-Alert moving to new address. Sign up now

The city’s B-Alert texting system, where more than 10,000 people currently receive traffic advisories from the city, is moving to a new address, and users of the free service must sign up by texting BILOXI to 99411 to continue to receive alerts.

The new address will replace the city’s 888-777 number, which had been used for three years. The move will take place Monday. It is being prompted by COVID-19, which dramatically increased the cost of text messages for the city’s existing provider.

“This service is the backbone of the city’s mass-communications efforts with the public,” said Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich, “and we encourage everyone to sign up if you live, work or play in Biloxi. It’s a simple process: From your cell phone, just text BILOXI to 99411.”

Biloxi Police Chief John Miller said the service also is an important tool for first responders. “The benefits to public safety are two-fold in times of an emergency,” Miller said. “It helps our officers directing traffic at the scene of an accident by alerting motorists to avoid the area or expect delays. The service also reduces the number of calls to our dispatchers from people asking why traffic is backed up.”

In 2020, which saw a record number of hurricanes and traffic tie-ups, the city transmitted 250 text messages about bridge and road closures and openings, and accidents that either detoured or delayed traffic. In all, the city transmitted more than 2.5 million B-Alert messages.

The service is primarily used to text traffic alerts and weather advisories as warranted, but B-Alert, through partner CodeRED, also can transmit telephone messages, emails and posts to social media. In the event of a catastrophic emergency, the service could originate a message to all nearby cell phones, regardless of whether they are signed up for B-Alert.

Emails: For those who prefer to receive text alerts by email or app, you can create a free CodeRED account through the city’s website. Click the red B at the top right of the city website.
Facebook: See a 90-second video about the change
YouTube: See a 90-second video about the change

News & notes: Weekly report, traffic

The week that was: Weekly reports from the departments of Police, Fire, Community Development, Public Works and Engineering are now online for your review. To see the report from last week and an archive of weekly reports, click here.

Traffic update: The city’s Engineering Department each weekday morning posts updated traffic info. To see the Traffic page, with links to traffic cameras and traffic counts, click here.