Weather Forecast


Echo Press Editorial: Be prepared for emergencies; join CodeRED

An important call will go out this Friday morning. Will you get it?

You should if you want to be more safe and secure.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will be testing its new “CodeRED Emergency Notification System” on February 28 by calling the entire community.

The calls will begin at 10 a.m. and will continue until the entire database has been attempted. This will give the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office personnel a chance to operate the system as if there has been a community wide disaster.

With CodeRED, valuable messages can be sent as voice messages, texts or e-mails.

No one likes to think about disasters and emergencies but a little preparation now can go a long way if a calamity strikes.

The possible scenarios run the gamet, from tornadoes, gas leaks and flash floods to alerts about a dangerous criminal who is on the loose or a child who is missing.

The newspaper has printed a few stories about CodeRED and there’s another one in today’s issue about the testing. So far, a few people and businesses have signed up but the sheriff’s office wants more people to get on board.

The more prepared a community is to deal with the unexpected, the better.

Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolbersen, who also heads up emergency management operations, said CodeRED allows law enforcement to notify the public of potentially life threatening hazards quickly and efficiently. “The system can also be used to request assistance from the public for things such as help locating a missing child or a vulnerable adult,” he added.

But participation by the public is key.

When the CodeRED system was first announced, the sheriff’s office received a flood of sign-ups but since then, participation has slowed. Local businesses, in particular, are being asked to take part, as well as those with unlisted phone numbers.

Signing up for the system is quick and easy and you don’t have to worry about a security breach. The only thing the system asks for is a name, cell phone number, an address and an e-mail address. (Contact information must be in the database to receive a call when an urgent message is sent.)

If you have a land line that is publicly listed in Douglas County, you don’t even have to visit the website. You’re automatically in the system.

To sign up for CodeRED, go to the Douglas County website at and follow the CodeRED/Weather Warning link

Those without Internet access may call (320) 762-8151, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Most information about the CodeRED system is on the website. Any questions should be directed to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office at (320) 762-8151.