Frequently Asked Questions Regarding - Critical Information Alert System: CodeRED®
- Question: What is CodeRED® and why is it important to me?
Answer: CodeRED® is a City of Annapolis service by which residents and businesses are notified by telephone regarding emergencies or critical community alerts. The system is capable of sending messages only to people affected by a particular situation or, in the case of a widespread concern such as severe weather, to the entire community.
- Question: Does this mean that I will be constantly receiving phone calls?
Answer: No. The City respects your privacy. CodeRED® will be used only when situations arise that you should know about. The system will be used to send messages only to those residents who are directly affected by a particular event. For example, if you happen to live in an area for which a “boil water” advisory has been issued due to a water system concern, the CodeRED® system will be used to call only you and your neighbors to deliver that very important message. If there is a regional emergency or concern, all City residents and businesses will be called. The system will call people up to 3 times if they do not answer the phone. Once they picked up the phone (or the answering machine picked up the call), the system will not call them again with the same message.
- Question: Why do I need CodeRED® when I have radio and TV to keep me informed?
Answer: CodeRED® is an additional measure of safety the City officials and administration believe all of our residents and businesses need and deserve. If electric power is interrupted, you may not be able to depend upon radio and TV. Even if you have power,CodeRED® will probably be able to reach you with important information faster than TV and radio stations. That is because CodeRED® is a direct connection between you and the City. If you receive a CodeRED® message, you can tune your radio to 1430 WNAV Radio on the AM dial and 99.9 on the FM dial for further information and updates. Many emergencies occur without advance warning. In such cases, you may have no reason to turn on a TV or radio. That is when CodeRED® can help officials alert you immediately and advise you to take appropriate action.
- Question: I have a cordless phone, and it does not work when the power goes out. Howis CodeRED® going to be able to contact me?
Answer: As an alternate method, you can continue to receive telephone messages from the City through CodeRED® with a cellular phone. The CodeRED® “Residential Data Collection” sign-up form gives you the option of filling in both a Primary Phone number and an Alternate Phone number. You can fill in the Alternate Phone number blank with your cellular telephone number, or you can make it your Primary Phone number if you wish. Entering an alternate phone number will cause BOTH your primary and alternate phone numbers to be called. You might want to consider as part of your personal emergency preparedness planning to have a phone that is not dependent on building electricity. Of course, no form of communication is guaranteed to remain in operation under severe conditions. CodeRED® does widen the safety margin by offering residents a powerful means of learning about critical information.
- Question: Do I have to pay extra for CodeRED® service?
Answer: Only if you chose to receive the alerts as text messages on your cell phone and your cell phone plan does not have an unlimited text messaging. In this case standard rates of your cell phone company apply.
- Question: Does the system have my telephone number, or do I have to sign-up to receiveCodeRED® emergency calls?
Answer: The City wants to reach everyone affected by an emergency whether or not they have signed up for CodeRED® . The system has been populated with available database information.If you have moved or changed your telephone number recently, you should sign-up for CodeRED® service or update information you have already provided. Any new information you supply will be helpful in keeping the database current. If you did not receive a previous alert or test message we encourage you to sign-up for CodeRED® . Note sign-up information in the next question. After all, you are the most reliable source of information about how to reach your household by phone.
- Question: How do I sign up for CodeRED® ?
Answer: The City website, www.annapolis.gov/CodeRed, has a link to a CodeRED® Residential Data Collection Form you can complete online; this is the quickest, easiest way to sign up. If you do not have access to the internet, you can contact OEM at 410-216-9167.
- Question: Can I arrange to have CodeRED® call my place of business?
Answer: Yes. Go to the The City website, www.annapolis.gov/CodeRed and click on CodeRED® link. When the Residential Data Collection form opens, click on the button labeled “Click to Switch to Business Data” and fill in the required information. Please note that emergency calls can only be delivered to a direct dial number. Automated attendants will disrupt the process and calls will not be delivered.
- Question: Can I choose NOT to receive CodeRED® messages?
Answer: The City respects your privacy and can remove your phone number or numbers from the call list. The City asks you to please reconsider opting out of the CodeRED® system. CodeRED® is designed to make certain you receive fast, accurate emergency information directly from the officials whose job is to help protect you and your family. If you are certain you do not want to receive calls, please fill out the Do Not Call Form and mail it to: OEM, 199 Taylor Avenue, Annapolis, MD, 21401. Due to liability concerns, the City will not remove phone numbers without a written request from the telephone line subscriber.
- Question: Who provides the CodeRED® service? Is the company reputable?
Answer: Emergency Communications Network of Ormond Beach, Florida, provides the service to the City. They have been in business since 1996; the company provides CodeRED® service to several hundred municipalities around the country. The City selected CodeRED® after researching and reviewing several similar services.CodeRED® is a vitally important service and another way the City is providing communication with residents.