The local emergency notification system – CodeRED – has been up and running for a year and a half and so far, so good.

The CodeRED system alerts residents via phone call or text message of catastrophic events and critical situations, such as significant storms in the area or a missing person report.


If you have a landline telephone in Douglas County, you are already signed up for CodeRED; it’s likely you received a message from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) a couple weeks ago about the 911 system being down for maintenance.

“Overall, we’ve had a lot of people sign up and we’re still getting people signing up, so that’s good,” said Sheriff Troy Wolbersen.

Residents of Douglas County can log onto the Douglas County website ( and click the CodeRED button to sign up for cell phone, text message and email alerts. A notification connected to your physical address will be sent out when CodeRED is activated.

Even if you have a landline registered, you can log on to add your cell phone and email.

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 should also register.


People without Internet access can mail their contact information to the DCSO at 216 Seventh Ave. W., Alexandria, MN 56308 or call (320) 762-8151.


A countywide notification can be distributed along with a location-specific alerts, which can inform people in a certain area of an incident.

For example, last summer, people in the Lobster Lake area were alerted of a missing kayaker. Someone who received that CodeRED alert helped authorities locate the teen who had drowned, Wolbersen said.

On the CodeRED registration page, you can opt to receive emergency notifications, general notifications, severe weather warnings or all of the alerts.

Weather alerts are provided by the National Weather Service.


• If you have a landline telephone in Douglas County, you’re already registered for CodeRED.

• To get alerts on your cell phone or email, go to

• If you have questions about signing up, call the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office at (320) 762-8151.

YOU ASKED!  Have a question about something in the lakes area? Send it to or call (320) 763-1211.