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Sign up to receive emergency calls or texts with CodeRED

Does your family rely exclusively on mobile phone service instead of a landline telephone? If so–and if you want to receive important emergency messages from the city–you should sign up to receive emergency calls on your mobile phone.

The City of Woodbury, in conjunction with Washington County, uses CodeRED, a high-speed telephone calling system, to notify local residents and businesses about emergency situations. The system allows the city to send critical communications to the entire city or to targeted areas within the city in a matter of minutes.

It’s important that residents take the time to sign up to receive emergency notifications on their mobile devices as this will be the fastest way to reach you in the event of an emergency. For example, if increased water restrictions are implemented this summer, the city will likely use CodeRED as one of the tools to notify residents.

The system also can be used to send important “non-emergency” messages–like the reminder the city sent in August to residents living along the Woodbury Days parade route. The non-emergency messages are optional; residents can opt out of receiving them. However, in most instances, the system is used in emergency situations where rapid and accurate information to residents are essential for life safety.

The system is not used for weather warnings, but may be used for follow-up information such as evacuations or shelter locations. 

If you reside or own property, including a business, within Woodbury, you are urged to sign up for CodeRED messages and ensure that you receive any emergency notifications. You also can opt in to receive calls directly to your mobile phone, text messages, and/or email alerts. You can register as many devices as you wish to up to two addresses.

The CodeRED system uses the most recent information entered for an address and overwrites previous information associated with an address. It also automatically purges phone numbers that are no longer in use. In addition, a free CodeRED app is available for many smartphones. You can use it to view alerts issued in different CodeRED service areas. 

How to register
To ensure emergency notices reach residents and utility users, accurate and up-to-date information is essential. To add or change a number, including mobile phones, or to opt for a text message and/or email alert, you should self-register online or text keyword “WashingtonMN” to 99411. You may register as many mobile phone numbers and email addresses as you desire.

If you have any questions about the CodeRED system, contact the Woodbury Public Safety Department at 651-714-3600 or police@woodburymn.gov.

How it works
City or county staff accesses CodeRED via a secure portal on the internet. A “call area” is marked, identifying street addresses. Telephone numbers are matched up electronically to these addresses through the use of geographical information systems. A pre-recorded message is sent via the telephone with information about the incident and possibly instructions for action to be taken. The message is played when answered by a live person or an answering machine; the system makes three attempts to connect to each number.

The calling number for CodeRED emergencies will display as 800-419-5000 or “Emergency Comm” and the number for general notifications is 855-969-4636 or “General Comm.” If you would like to hear the last message delivered to your phone, simply dial the number back. Users also may add these numbers as a “contact” in their phones, so they recognize the call is coming from the CodeRED system.

CodeRED is just one communications tool the city uses to share information with the public. Depending on the event, updates may also be available via the city’s website, City Update newsletter, InTouch email service, the city’s social media accounts, government access cable TV channels and local media.