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Archived News Release from 2010

For Immediate Release

Redwood City to Test Emergency Telephone Notification System, Urges Community to Register

Redwood City, CA - November 3, 2010 - Redwood City will be implementing a citywide test of its CodeRED emergency notification system on Monday, November 8th. This system will deliver a pre-recorded non-emergency message to all phone numbers in its database, as a test and to help update that calling list. Other than for a test, this system is only used in an emergency.

Residents are encouraged to go to to register for the CodeRED emergency notification system. Those without Internet access can call 650-780-7300 to have a CodeRED registration form sent to them which they can fill out and return.

This system allows the City to deliver pre-recorded, bilingual emergency telephone notification messages to targeted geographic areas - or the entire City - at a rate of up to 60,000 calls per hour. The existing database of phone numbers is significant, but it’s important to have as many residents and businesses as possible entered into the system.

Additionally, people can add their cell phone, work phone (even if out of the area), or other alternate number. By doing so, they are sure to be called when a CodeRED alert is activated in the area of their home or business, as both the primary and alternate number will be called. This service is available to all Redwood City addresses, as well as those outside the City limits in the North Fair Oaks, Emerald Hills, or other unincorporated areas directly adjacent to Redwood City.

Monday’s test of the system will continue until calls to the entire database have been attempted. Numbers that do not connect will be recalled during the week to ensure they are inoperable. This test gives Redwood City public safety staff the opportunity to operate the system as if there has been a community wide disaster, and will help to update the system’s database.

CodeRED was used earlier this year to alert selected areas about a sewage spill in the Redwood Shores lagoon. Other neighborhood or area alerts have been related to creek overflows and flooding, significant fires, mountain lion sightings, missing persons, and other critical and time-sensitive events.

The CoderRED application is a geographical-based high-speed notification system, which means street addresses are required so that emergency operations staff can select which areas’ phone numbers will receive emergency notification calls. The system works for cell phones as long as they’re associated with a street address. People who have recently moved but kept the same listed or unlisted phone number will benefit by updating their address in the CodeRED database. Information in the CodeRED database remains completely private and will only be used to notify community members of critical emergency situations.

The tragic explosion and fire in San Bruno earlier this fall highlights the need for residents to take steps to be prepared for disaster. Registering for CodeRED is one easy thing that everyone can do. Additionally, Redwood City residents are urged to visit  where they’ll find information on household emergency planning, disaster kits, what to do before, during, and after a disaster, and more.

Visit Redwood City’s website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, and local business. Subscribe to Redwood City’s electronic newsletter or other City documents at


Malcolm Smith
Public Communications Manager


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