Los Alamos County will conduct a test of its CodeRED emergency notification system at approximately 2 p.m. Thursday March 29.
The County contracted with Emergency Communications Network to license its CodeRED high-speed notification solution in November of last year.
The CodeRED system provides County officials the ability to quickly deliver messages to targeted areas or the entire County.
“We ‘sort of’ tested the system last week for the HAZMAT incident on DP Road,” said Phil Taylor, Los Alamos County’s Emergency Management Specialist, “but that particular callout only targeted those businesses in that immediate vicinity. What we hope to accomplish on Thursday is to call the entire database and determine the time it takes to do that. Most importantly, this test will give the residents of our community some familiarity with this system.”
When asked about what residents could expect on Thursday, Taylor responded, “They’ll receive an automated telephone call that will display a toll-free 866 prefix and the words “Emergency Communications” on their caller ID. They will then hear my voice stating that the County is conducting a test of its emergency notification system, that there is no emergency, and that this is only a test.”
Taylor went on to point out that the CodeRED system also can notify the public via cell phones in addition to residential and business landlines.
“This system has the ability to deliver both voice and text messages to cell phones, and can also send an alert to an email address,” he said. “If you have an answering machine, it will leave a message.”
Taylor noted that if residents call the toll-free number listed on their caller ID, they’ll simply hear a re-play of the message that was transmitted.
Regarding text messaging, cell phones and emails, Taylor pointed out that “folks need to register those devices on the CodeRED system.
They can do that by getting onto the County’s website (www.losalamosnm.us), clicking on the “public safety” link, and then clicking on the “Citizen Alert CodeRED Signup” icon.
Once there, they’ll have to enter their name, address, cell phone numbers and email addresses.
It is imperative to input a correct physical street address. The system will not recognize post office box numbers or common names such as “Smith’s, LANB or LANL, he said.
“CodeRED allows geographically based delivery, which means street addresses are required to ensure emergency notification calls are received by the proper individuals in a given situation,Taylor said. “The system works for cell phones too, but we need to have an associated street address to provide relevant messages.”
All businesses should register, as well as all individuals who have unlisted phone numbers, who have changed their phone number or address within the past year, and those who use a cellular phone or VoIP phone as their primary number.
“CodeRED gives those who want to be included an easy and secure method for inputting information,” he said. “The data collected will only be used for emergency notification purposes.”
Questions should be directed to the Los Alamos County Office of Emergency Management at 663-3511.