Code Red FAQ

What is CodeRED?

The CodeRED Emergency Notification System is a fast communication service allowing the City of Oak Park Heights to notify citizens of an emergency situation.  It enables the city to provide mass notification quickly and easily. This service is free to all Oak Park Heights residents and businesses located within our city limits.

How will I benefit from this service?

This high-speed telephone system will allow the City of Oak Park Heights to contact participants to provide information about a critical situation, what action needs to be taken, and notification that the situation has been resolved. 
What do I have to do to receive this benefit?

To receive CodeRED you must register your home, cell phone, or business phone number in the CodeRED database.

How does it work?

CodeRED delivers the important message through a high-speed telephone calling system to a phone number on the CodeRED database.  City emergency staff will access CodeRED via a secure portal on the web.   A "call area" will be marked identifying street addresses.  Telephone numbers will be matched up electronically to these addresses through the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS).  A pre-recorded message will be sent out via the telephone with information about the incident and possibly instructions for action to be taken. 
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)
*    DO NOT call 9-1-1 unless instructed to do so (You will only tie up emergency lines)

What should I do if I don’t receive a message?

Your area of the community may not be affected.  In which case, you won’t receive a call even if it’s only a block away. 

Will the system work with cell phones?

Yes.  But, your cell phone number needs to be associated with your City of Oak Park Heights address.  We encourage you to register your cell phone number.
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.


Why did CodeRED call me several times?

If there is no answer and they do not have an answering device, the number will be attempted up to 3 times.


Why did I get a call, but no message played?

If they answer and do not say hello, CodeRED will not begin playing automatically. It is trying to determine if is has reached a live person or answering device. If they do not say anything, it will hang up and retry the number in the next pass of the non connected numbers.


Why did it leave only part of the message on my answering machine?

CodeRED will leave a message on an answering device. There are many different brands and types of capturing devices for leaving a message. Occasionally something about the answering device or the beep of the device causes the system to think it has reached a live person and begins playing the message. When the message is left, it only leaves part of the message. They can call back the 866-419-5000 and receive the entire message. This does not happen often.


Why does my phone ring once and hang up?

It has called me twice and won’t let me answer it. If they have a ring back tone, which plays a song instead of ringing, the system will interpret this as an Operator Intercept and hang up, only to retry the number. They have two options. They can remove the ring back tone or they can contact their cell phone provider and request that the phone number 866-419-5000 for CodeRED bypassed by this feature.

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); city; state; Zip Code; and primary phone number. A primary phone number is most likely the identified home phone number. An alternate phone number, such as a mobile phone, can also be entered and both the primary and alternate line will be contacted in the event of an emergency. The system works with cellular phones but requires a City of Oak Park Heights street address.  When entering information, please fill out all of the screens because the newest data entered will replace the old data; this would include the notifications you’d like to receive as well.  So, if you’d like to change the warnings you are signed up for, you simply resubmit your information through the Community Notification Enrollment page.

For those who are hearing impaired, the sign up form offers a TDD ONLY option for tone delivery of emergency 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 to register or call the Oak Park Heights Police Department at 651-439-4723.   

Examples of times when the CodeRED system could be utilized: drinking water contamination, utility outage, evacuation notice, missing person, fires or floods, bomb threat, hostage situation, chemical spill or gas leak, and other emergency incidents where rapid and accurate notification is essential for life safety.