November 15, 2012 | Vol. 39, No. 46

City to test CodeRED emergency system Friday

The City of Petersburg has contracted with the Emergency Communications Network to provide emergency notification services. This system will be tested at 10 a.m., Friday, Nov. 16.

“If you have a public, published telephone number, you are automatically entered into the system,” Petersburg Medical Center Hospital Preparedness Coordinator Liz Bacom said. “But if you have a cell phone, you will need to register your number to receive these notifications.”

The CodeRED system is a reverse 911 type of service.

Instead of calling 911 for an emergency, this system will call you to inform the public about emergencies such as mudslides, tsunami warnings, evacuation notices, missing child alerts and even icy road conditions.

“This will become our primary means of emergency communication in conjunction with the siren,” Petersburg EMS Director Sandy Dixson said. “This gives us the capability to reach a larger audience.”

The CodeRED system can be reached from the City of Petersburg webpage at and choosing the link for CodeRED where vital information can be entered.

The information provided will remain secure and private and will only be used for community notifications.

“If a resident registers their address, this will also give us the ability to localize notifications,” Dixson said. “If we have, say, an ammonia spill, the system will highlight the affected area and only notify those in that area.”

This system has been in effect for about a year and a half and it has been tested in the hospital regularly.

“We have been using it to notify hospital staff of emergencies to let them know if they need to come in or not,” Bacom said. “This is how it got started, I wanted a way to contact our staff without using a tree. It takes less staff and time to activate this system.”

In addition to testing the CodeRED system, the City will test the siren located on the roof of the Syd Wright Auditorium at the Petersburg Middle School. The siren will sound for three to five minutes with a steady signal.

“We are really wanting to reach the population that only has cell phones,” Dixson said. “Please take the time to register your number in order to receive these emergency notifications.”

The phone calls and siren Friday morning will be for test only.

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