Mayor Byron Brown, along with Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield, today unveiled the CodeRED Emergency Notification System, which allows the city of Buffalo to quickly send out telephone calls, text messages, emails or other digital alerts to a targeted area.
“We are always looking for new and efficient ways to better notify citizens about emergency situations that affect public safety and/or non-emergency issues, such as road closures due to paving or weather problems, and this is a great opportunity,” said Mayor Brown.
The City entered into an agreement with Emergency Communications Network for the Code Red notification system, at a total cost of $307,400, funded through a federal grant program. (MMRS – Metropolitan Medical Response System) Buffalo has already put listed numbers for land lines in its new system, however, those who want to be contacted via cellphone or digitally must register.
To register, city residents and business owners are being urged to log on to www.city-buffalo.com, and follow the link to the “CodeRED Community Notification Enrollment” page. Those without Internet access may call 311 to supply their information over the phone. The Buffalo Fire Department plans to set up registration tables with laptops at upcoming public events, including the Italian Festival. Enrollment forms can also be obtained at all Buffalo Firehouses.
Fire Commissioner Whitfield cautioned, “These types of emergency notification systems are only as good as the telephone number database supporting them. No one should automatically assume his or her phone number is included. If your phone number is not in the database, you will not be called. ”
Required information includes first and last name, street address (physical address, no P.O. boxes), city, state, zip code, and primary phone number, additional phone numbers can be entered as well. The data collected will only be used for emergency notification purposes, unless you opt in for non-emergency notifications, like road closures and detours. 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 as their primary number.
There is also a digital application that smartphone users can download for free that allows the person to receive notification messages in cities throughout the country. For example, if someone in Buffalo had the app and was traveling in another state that put out an emergency message, the Buffalo phone would get the message. For those who want to use the mobile app, it’s available through www.coderedweb.com.
A test phone call will be made on Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. to everyone in the city’s database. Those who do not get phone call on Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. are asked to re-register for the Code RED Community Notification Enrollment.