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Renton to Test CodeRED Emergency Notification System

April 13, 2010

For more information contact:

Deborah Needham, Emergency Management Director 425 430-7027
Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director 425-430-6569

RENTON, WA:  Starting at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 20, emergency preparedness officials from the City of Renton will conduct a test of its CodeRED emergency notification system.  The day-long test is an effort to ensure the proper functioning of the system, as well as a reminder for residents and business owners within Renton’s city limits to enter their contact information online at rentonwa.gov.
Implemented in June 2009, the CodeRED system gives city officials the ability to deliver urgent pre-recorded telephone, cell phone, email or text messages to targeted areas, or the entire community, at a rate of up to 60,000 per hour. The system is set up to send a test notification by phone, email and/or text message if your contact information is in the CodeRED database.

 “This is the first large test of our system,” said Emergency Management Director Deborah Needham. “It’s a great opportunity to talk to those you care about to make sure they are registered in advance to receive emergency messages.”

The cities of Auburn, Kent, and Tukwila, as well as King County will also test their emergency notification systems the same day.

In Renton, the message will begin with “This is a test of the City of Renton emergency notification system.” If a phone is not answered, the system will try again or leave a message.

The system is only as good as the database supporting it.

“We don’t want to miss anyone with an emergency call,” said Needham. “Although we are starting with a good database, no one should automatically assume his or her phone number is included. If your information is not in the database, you will not be contacted."

The following individuals are urged to add their information to the database.

  • All businesses.
  • Residents with unlisted phone numbers.
  • Residents who have changed their phone number or address within the last year.
  • Residents who use a cellular phone as their primary phone.
  • Residents who have recently moved, but kept the same listed or unlisted phone number.
  • Residents who wish to receive text and/or email messages in addition to telephone calls.
  • Residents who receive their phone service over the internet.

Renton residents and businesses are encouraged to complete a short online survey about the test to help improve emergency call service delivery in the future. The survey will be available online at rentonwa.gov beginning April 21.  Those without internet access may call 425-430-7009 with questions or comments about the service.

CodeRED is a geographically-based notification system, which means street addresses are needed to select which phone numbers will receive emergency notification calls in a specific emergency.  An associated Renton street address is needed for cell phone numbers.

Requested information includes first and last name, street address (physical address—no PO boxes), city, state, zip code, primary phone numbers and additional phone numbers and email address (optional).  Residents and businesses may also choose to receive text or email messages about emergencies, in addition to telephone calls.

CodeRED gives those who want to be included an easy and secure method for doing so, and the information will only be used for emergency notification purposes. Residents and businesses may also opt out of the system entirely if they so choose.

Those without internet access may contact Renton Fire & Emergency Services Department at 425-430-7000, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to request a registration form by mail. 

For more information about CodeRED visit rentonwa.gov.