CodeRED Frequently Asked Questions
- What is CodeRED and why is it important to me?
- CodeRED is a new emergency notification service by which town officials can notify Town residents and businesses by telephone, cellular phone, text message, or electronic mail about emergency situations or critical community alerts. The system is capable of sending messages only to specific neighborhoods or the entire community.
- How was CodeRED set up?
- The Town of Mont Vernon and the Town of Amherst joined together to acquire a joint account for CodeRED. Amherst took primary responsibility for the account, which is why the signup forms will display Amherst as the account owner name. This is fine - the service has the ability to subdivide accounts by area/address, and your registration will be correctly assigned to the appropriate town.
- Does this mean that I will be getting calls that apply to the other town?
- No. The system has the capability to subdivide the registrants by address/area into Zones. Mont Vernon and Amherst are defined as separate zones, so calls intended for each town will go only to the appropriate set of subscribers.
- Does this mean the Town will be calling me constantly?
- No. The Town respects your privacy. CodeRED will be used when emergency situations arise that you should know about.
The system will be used to send messages only to those residents and businesses directly affected by a particular event. For example, if you happen to live in an area for which a "boil water" advisory has been issued due to a water main break, CodeRED will call only you and your neighbors to deliver that very important health advisory.
If there is a Town or region-wide emergency, all Town residents will be contacted by the method of their choice and kept up-to-date on developments.
- For what kinds of situations will CodeRED be used?
- Severe weather situations, substantial utility outage, evacuation notices, missing or lost persons, fires or floods, major roadway issues, significant criminal situations, chemical spill or gas leak. In short, emergencies and community alerts.
- Why do I need CodeRED when I have TV to keep me informed?
- CodeRED is an additional measure of safety town officials believe our residents need and deserve. If power goes out, you may not be able to depend upon TV. However, because telephone lines are self-powered and most people now have cell phones, the Town can continue to keep you informed through messages delivered by CodeRED.
Even if you have power, CodeRED will probably be able to reach you with important information faster than TV and radio stations can put it on the air. That's because CodeRED is a direct connection between you and the Town.
Many emergencies occur without advance warning. In such cases, you may have no reason to turn on a TV or radio or you may be sleeping. That's when CodeRED can help town officials alert you immediately and advise you to take appropriate action.
- How will I recognize a CodeRED message?
- A CodeRED message will have a caller ID 866-419-5000. We suggest you program this number in your cell phone as a "new contact" and use "CodeRED" as the contact name. If you need to replay the emergency notification message again, simply dial this number and you will be able to hear the message again. A CodeRED message will usually begin, "This is an emergency message from the Town of <town>."
- What should I do if I receive a CodeRED message?
- Listen carefully to the entire message. It will be brief and will not be repeated. Follow the instructions given. You may be directed to a commercial TV or radio station for further information. Do not hang up until you have heard the entire message or you might miss vital information. Do not call 911 for further information unless directed to do so or if you need immediate aid from the Police, EMS or Fire department.
- I have a cordless phone, and it does not work when the power goes out. How is the Town going to be able to contact me?
- There are two ways you can continue to receive telephone messages from the Town through CodeRED:
CodeRED widens the safety margin by offering Amherst residents another new and powerful means of learning about vital, timely information. In addition you should continue to listen to the TV and the radio.
- Make sure you have at least one working corded telephone - and be sure to turn the ringer on.
- The CodeRED "Residential Data Collection" sign-up form gives you the option of filling in both a Primary Phone number and an alternate phone number. You can fill in the Alternate Phone number with another contact number such as your cell phone number or work number. Entering an alternate phone number will cause BOTH your primary and alternate phone numbers to be called.
- Will CodeRED leave a message on a machine?
- Yes, CodeRED will leave a message on a machine or on voice mail. Part of the CodeRED solution is the patented ability to recognize answering devices and leave the message completely in one pass.
- What happens if the line is busy?
- If the line is busy, CodeRED will try two more times to connect.
- What circumstances might prohibit CodeRED from delivering a message to me?
- If you have moved or changed your phone number and have not registered your new contact information, CodeRED may not be able to contact you.
If you have only cordless phones in your residence, the power is out and you have not registered an alternate phone number, CodeRED will not be able to contact you.
If your line is busy for an extended period and your calls do not forward to voice mail or an answering machine in a busy condition, after three tries CodeRED will stop calling your number. The Town will receive a report of undelivered calls and can instruct CodeRED to begin another round of calls to busy numbers. It's best to have an alternate phone number in the calling database for these situations.
If you have privacy manager on your main phone service, CodeRED will not be able to contact you unless you have registered an alternate number that will accept the call.
- Does the Town have my telephone number, or do I have to sign up to receive CodeRED emergency calls?
- The Town does not have your telephone number until you sign up. If you have moved or changed your telephone number recently, you should definitely sign up for the CodeRED service or update your information you have already provided. Any new information you supply will automatically replace old information.
- How do I sign up for CodeRED?
- The home page of the Town of Mont Vernon website has a link to a CodeRED registration form you can fill out online. This is the quickest way to sign up because the information you supply will immediately update Amherst's CodeRED telephone number database. If you do not have access to the internet at home, please consider using a computer at the Library or ask a friend or family member for assistance. On-line registration is the most efficient, accurate and private way to supply your information. To register on-line you might first have to adjust your internet browser to enable cookies, otherwise you may receive an error message. If you can not register on-line, you can call the Amherst Communications Center at: 603-673-4900 to speak with one of the communications specialists.
- The registration form only allows me to enter a primary and secondary telephone number. What if I want to register additional numbers for my address?
- After you submit the initial registration form, you may start the registration process again and submit more numbers for the same address.
- I have a business located in Town. Can I arrange to have CodeRED call my business?
- Yes. Go to the Town of Mont Vernon website and click on the CodeRED link. When the Residential Data Collection form opens, click on the button labeled "Click to Switch to Business Data" and fill in the required information. Please note that emergency calls can only be delivered to a direct dial number. Automated attendants will disrupt the process and the calls will not be delivered. Businesses should register their main number and establish a procedure for distributing the CodeRED message to their workforce.
- If I move out of Town or change my number, will CodeRED continue to call me?
- Once the land line at your address is disconnected after your move, the system will drop that number in the next update. However, any alternate numbers will remain in the system until you ask them to be removed. Contact the Amherst Communications Center at: 603-673-4900 and request a "CodeRED Number Removal Form". This can be mailed, faxed or emailed to you. Once you've entered your information, signed and returned to the Town of Amherst, the information will be forwarded to CodeRED and your numbers will be deleted.
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