Emergency CodeRed Frequently Asked Questions
What is CodeRED?
The CodeRed Emergency Notification System is a fast communication service that allows St. Mary’s County Government to quickly notify citizens. It enables the County to provide mass notification quickly and easily. This service is free to St. Mary’s County residents and businesses.
How will I benefit from this service?
This high-speed telephone system enables the County to contact citizens and to provide critical information, instructions for actions that should be taken, and\or update information that citizens should be aware.
What do I have to do to receive this benefit?
To receive CodeRed and Weather Warning Calls, you must to register your home, cell phone, or business phone number in the CodeRed database. If you would like to join the Weather Warning program make sure to check the Weather Warning Box on the Registration Form before you submit.
How does it work?
St. Mary's County uses CodeRed to deliver important messages through a high-speed telephone calling system to registered phone numbers stored in the CodeRed database. County staff determines the area of the county that will receive the message and determines the message content. The system matches telephone numbers to these areas through the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) mapping technology and the recorded message is delivered to the phone numbers associated with the specific geographic area of the county.
What should I do if I receive a CodeRed message?
- Listen Carefully
- Follow Instructions
- Don’t hang up until you hear the whole message (the message will not be repeated)
What should I do if I don’t receive a message?
The CodeRed System utilizes GIS mapping combined with a telephone database to ensure that only the areas of the community affected receives the notifications. If your address does not meet the search criteria you may not receive a call - even if the notification is only a block away.
What is CodeRED used for?
CodeRed will be used for significant incidents and events where the timely notification of an affected population or geographic area is essential.
How Do I Register?
The following information is required to add a telephone number into the CodeRed database:
- First and last name
- Address (physical address, no P.O. boxes)
- Zip Code
- Primary phone number
A primary phone number often a home phone number. An alternate phone number, such as a cell phone, can also be entered and both the primary and alternate line will be contacted in the event of an emergency.
For the hearing impaired, the sign up form offers a TDD ONLY option for tone delivery of CodeRed messages. Messages delivered to phone numbers marked TDD will only be delivered in a TDD/TTY format.
Residents without Internet access may visit any of the Counties public libraries to use a computer or call the Department of Public Safety to give their information over the phone. Please call 301-475-4200 Option 6 then Option 3.
How Do I Get off the Call List?
If you would like to be removed from our CodeRed system please access our Opt Out page.
What is CodeRED Weather?
CodeRed Weather is a bonus feature of CodeRed that St. Mary’s County Residents can option in while signing up for CodeRED. The CodeRED Weather Warning will automatically call citizens when severe weather (tornado, flash flood, severe thunderstorm, winter storm and tsunami) warnings are issued by the National Weather Service for your address. The CodeRed Weather Warning System calls only when warnings are issued and only if your address is in the path of the storm.
What message will I receive from CodeRed Weather?
CodeRed Weather will deliver a pre-recorded alert message directly to your resident’s phones in the projected path of the severe weather. The system automatically sends these notifications when the National Weather Service issues a Warning - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
How Does CodeRed Weather Work?
CodeRed Weather uses GIS based calls integrated with the "Storm Based Warnings" provided directly from the National Weather Service (NWS). Codered Weather Warning monitors NWS bulletins that identify the severity of the warning; exact area(s) affected; and the predicted heading of the threatening storm to determine call parameters. CodeRed Weather Warning then creates a calling database of all subscribers within the projected area of the severe weather. This calling database is then immediately submitted to the CodeRed Weather Warning automated calling system. By eliminating the need for human intervention to active warnings CodeRed Weather has significantly decreased the response time required for citizen notifications when severe weather is imminent.
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