Sheriff's Office adds CodeRED alert system
You're on your way home. You turn the corner to your street and instead of seeing the neighborhood as it was when you left this morning, you see emergency responders, law enforcement and caution tape. The road's blocked off and you don't know why.
Now you can be alerted of catastrophic events and critical community situations by using a new alert system in Douglas County — CodeRED. Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolbersen said the CodeRED emergency notification system was activated earlier this week.
"If you have a landline, you're already connected," Wolbersen said. Phone numbers listed in the phonebook will automatically receive a call. Community members have the option to receive notifications by voice, text or e-mail.
Residents of Douglas County can log onto the Douglas County website and click the CodeRED button to sign up for cell phone and e-mail alerts. A notification connected to your physical address will be sent out whenever an emergency situation erupts. Some instances that would warrant a notice include evacuation, bio-terrorism alerts, boil water notices and missing children.
Wolbersen clarified that even if you have a landline that is already registered, you can log on to add your cell phone number and e-mail and to verify your landline is registered without adversely affecting the system already in place. The sheriff's office recommends all businesses register as well as individuals who have unlisted phone numbers. People who have changed their phone number or address within the past year and those with a cell phone or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone as their primary phone may also want to register.
Emergency notifications will be sent out by the sheriff's office. Wolbersen said not only can a county-wide notification be distributed, a location-specific alert can inform people in a certain area when evacuation is necessary.
"I am very excited to be able to offer this service to citizens of Douglas County," Wolbersen said. "This emergency notification system is one more way to protect and serve the public."
Additionally, severe weather warnings can be opted in through the website. Weather announcements are provided through the National Weather Service.
To register your phone number with CodeRED, visit www.co.douglas.mn.us or https://cne.coderedweb.com. People without Internet access can mail their information to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office at 216 7th Avenue West, Alexandria, MN 56308 or call (320) 762-8151.
CodeRED is provided by the Emergency Communications Network (ECN). The high-speed system is capable of distributing time-sensitive information to thousands of citizens within minutes. There is no charge for the service.
Calls coming through ECN are identified by caller ID as "Emergency Communications Network" or "866-419-5000" for CodeRED calls and as "Emergency Communications Network" or "800-566-9780" for CodeRED Weather Warnings.
If a call is missed, a message can be retrieved by calling the number listed on caller ID.