Life can change with just a moment’s notice, so it’s important for emergency response personnel to be able to connect with residents during an emergency. Changes in technology are allowing governments to do so in more ways than ever before.
In an effort to take advantage of new technology and to continue to ensure accurate crisis communication with residents, the Parker Police Department and all other Douglas County agencies have transitioned to a new mass notification system called CodeRED.
Sign up for CodeRED
CodeRed is a high-speed telephone emergency notification system that allows public safety personnel to send messages directly to residents – whether they are home or away – during an emergency. It uses geo-tracking to target specific areas with prerecorded phone messages, emails or texts.
Some Douglas County residents may have been signed up for a previous system that all jurisdictions within the County used; including the Town of Parker. County and municipal agencies are no longer using that system. Though contact information will be transferred to the new system, it is suggested all residents sign up for the new system to ensure they are included in this important effort. Business owners are also encouraged to register their contact information.
The Douglas County Emergency Telephone Service Authority decided earlier this year to go with a different notification provider. After requesting proposals from a variety of providers, CodeRED rose to the top. The authority, which is funded by a monthly 70 cent phone surcharge on all cell phones and landlines within the County, will pay for the system.
Like the former system, CodeRED alerts may be implemented in situations such as police activity in the area, an Amber Alert, wildfires or other emergency incidents. However, the system does not include weather alerts. The Parker Police Department encourage residents to stay tuned to weather radios and local media for information during severe weather.
In order for CodeRED to perform at its best, it needs an accurate database of contact information, associated with addresses. That’s why the public’s help is needed. To ensure your information is included in this database, you must sign up.
Registering is free online at http://NotifyDouglasCounty.org
Required information includes: First and last name, street address (no P.O. Boxes), city, state, ZIP code and primary phone number. Data will be kept confidential.
Residents can also sign up using cell phone numbers and emails because dispatch centers can also use CodeRED to send messages via text message or email. Signing up allows residents to set their contact preferences. Should residents move, they will need to register again with the new address.
CodeRED will alert people of incidents in their area. The Parker Police Department also uses its Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep the public updated on events, issues and emergencies. Visit facebook.com/
Recognizing CodeRED messages: CodeRED messages will have caller ID No. 866-419-5000 and the name “Emergency Comm.” We recommend programming the number into your cell phone as a new contact using the name “CodeRED Emergency,” so that you can call the number to hear the message again if you need to.
The system does not include weather alerts. Douglas County and its municipalities encourage residents to stay tuned to weather radios and local media or use one of the many local news station apps for information during severe weather.
NWS alerts are now automatically being sent to all cellular phone subscribers during any severe weather conditions that occur within the county of the cellular subscriber. Douglas County does not have any control over those alerts and unfortunately, the NWS alerts are not an opt-in/opt-out service so the only way that you will not receive those alerts is a setting on your cellular phone.
How reliable is this system?
According to national averages, emergency notification systems connect with users 70 percent of the time. CodeRED has been tested in the County, and reports are showing it connects an average of 85 percent of the time. Cell tower connections and technology issues impact these statistics.
With the onset of smart phones, iPads and PDA’s and the rising cost of everything have promoted many residents to get ride of their land line telephones. Those are the phone numbers that are registered in the Reverse 911 database so what shout we do now?
No problem, it’s actually very easy to set up the Reverse 911 system to alert you by email, cell phone or text message to you and other family members in the case of any kind of an emergency.
You simply go to your local county or sheriff’s office website and it allows you to add your home address, your business address and then many forms of contact including your home phone, cell phone, text message and email. The service also lets you rank by order of preference so they contact you first at your most used source of communication. Residents can edit their profiles at any time.
Other Reverse 911 ideas
- Elderly Parents: Go and set this system up for them and put yourselves as alternate contact points as well.
- House or Pet Sitters: You can also have your house or dog sitters number added when you are away on vacation to give you piece of mind as well and simply remember to remove them when you come home
- Kids just leaving the nest? How about setting it up for them as well and including yourself on the contact list.
- Vacation: Add a neighbor or nearby relative that knows you are going and can get a hold of you on the road.
The Reverse 911 system is designed to alert residents about fires, floods, toxic environmental issues and other emergencies using the Everbridge Aware™ mass notification system. Not only will you get the alert but it will also tell you what you should do in each circumstance, evacuate, remain in your home or help to locate a missing child.