Nevada County, CA—On August 15th, the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services (OES) conducted a test of the opt-in CodeRED emergency alert system. A substantial number of Nevada County residents registered for the notifications and received the test alert Thursday. The test was conducted to improve efficiencies, raise awareness of the communication tool, and encourage community enrollment. In addition, the test helped identify phone numbers no longer in service.
CodeRED notifications are typically sent to a geographically confined area to alert impacted neighborhoods or communities only. Yesterday’s test message was sent countywide and provided the ability to assess local telecommunications infrastructure capabilities. While the test was initiated at 10:00 A.M., not all messages were delivered at that time due to a throttling of the rate of alerts sent per minute. Throttling occurs only during the testing process and does not impact alerts sent in an emergency.
Emergency Services Manager, Captain Pettitt characterized the test as a success, “Testing CodeRED keeps the system efficient and allows us to clean our list, scrubbing contacts that no longer live in the area, and removing out of service numbers. Maintaining an accurate database with higher quality contact information allows us to communicate faster when we know minutes matter.”
Nevada County currently has 86,298 total phone numbers registered to receive calls, 24,320 mobile phones registered to receive text alerts, and 12,365 email addresses registered to receive messages. County of Nevada Office of Emergency Services works closely with CodeRED’s parent company, OnSolve, to carefully identify contacts no longer in service. During the test, more than 135,000 calls were made to establish connection and verify service status.
About CodeRED Emergency Alerts
The notification system is a web-based critical communication tool that enables local public safety personnel to notify residents and businesses by telephone, text message, email, and social media of time-sensitive information, emergencies, or urgent notifications. The system can reach thousands of individuals in minutes to ensure information such as evacuation notices, missing persons, inclement weather advisories, and more are quickly shared. Only authorized officials have access to send alerts using the CodeRED system.
Resident’s mobile phone numbers, voice-over IP (VOIP), and email addresses are not automatically enrolled, and all Nevada County residents, including those living in Nevada City and Grass Valley, are encouraged to sign up for these notifications.
Registration may be completed online at ReadyNevadaCounty.org/EmergencyAlerts, by texting ReadyNevadaCounty to 99411 and following the prompts to register, or by calling 211 (1-833-DIAL211) for technical assistance.
All emergency calls will originate from 866-419-5000, non-emergency alert calls will originate from 855-969-4636, and text messages will originate from 218-350-0131. The Office of Emergency Services encourages residents to save and name all three numbers on their mobile phone as “CodeRED Emergency Alerts”.
If a message is missed, at any point, individuals may re-dial the 866-419-5000 number on the caller ID to hear a replay of the message sent. The CodeRED system will leave a message on the answering machine or voicemail if the call is not answered. If an answering machine is not available, the system will consider the call as “incomplete” and will attempt to call again after several minutes have passed. If the phone line is busy, CodeRED will try two more times to connect.
The Office of Emergency Services is collecting feedback from the test. If you have information to share, please complete the survey.