Stay Informed Of Emergencies: Sign Up For Your County's Alert System

Jul 20, 2018

Code Red the emergency alerts software that's used by the majority of counties in the North State. Residents with AT&T landlines in counties that use this system are already signed up. to receive calls during an emergency. The system also allows users to sign up to receive mobile alerts about emergencies in their area.

Every North State county has a system they use to let you know when to evacuate in an emergency. The one you’ve most likely heard about is called Code Red. It’s used in nine North State counties – Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Trinity and Yuba. The software is owned by a private company that sends alerts to either your cell phone or landline during an emergency.

"The only limitation is that we need to get the message out early so people need to enroll." - Amy Travis, Office of Emergency Services in Glenn County

Amy Travis, is the Deputy Director at the Office of Emergency Services in Glenn County where the Code Red system is used.

“The only limitation is that we need to get the message out early so people need to enroll,” she said.

If you have an AT&T landline you’ll automatically get that phone call at home, but to receive mobile alerts you have to sign up online on your county's Office of Emergency Services website.

There are also others services Code Red provides if you sign up for an account. Cindi Dunsmoor is the Emergency Services Coordinator for Butte County. She said the software allows family members to be alerted to emergencies in your area as well.

“For example my children live out of state, so I can have them register their cell phone number to my address so if I’m getting evacuated, they get the message,” she said.

If your county uses Code Red and you have an AT&T landline you'll automatically get a phone call, but to receive mobile alerts you have to sign up online on your county's Office of Emergency Services website.

Dunsmoor said this feature can be especially important if you have family or friends that you need to help evacuate.

Counties in the region that do not use Code Red, use others software that work similarly. According to their websites: Tehama County uses a system called Everbridge, Colusa County uses Notify Me, and Sutter County uses Nixle.

All of these systems provide alerts for emergencies happening near your home address, but it’s important to note that if you’re out of the area, you’ll need to use another way to monitor emergencies that are happening around you.

During an evacuation, counties will do their best to send sheriff’s deputies to your door, but this is your last line of defense and it’s not always reliable. It’s much better to be enrolled in your county’s emergency alert system so you get that phone call or text alert before your doorbell rings.

In the event of an emergency, quick and accurate information is key. Are you signed up to receive emergency alerts in your county? 

Other tips:

  • Follow your local public safety agencies on social media. Many entities use Facebook and Twitter to share important, up-to-date information with the public.
  • Follow along with your preferred local media source — whether it's the radio, newspaper, television, or online. Most news agencies also post daily updates on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Have an emergency preparedness kit ready to go in the event you have to evacuate.
  • Try to keep three-quarters of a tank of gas in your car at all times.
  • Be aware of road closures that may affect your travel. Have physical maps on hand.
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