Code Red is one of several residential notification methods that the county utilizes during an emergency event. Code Red includes all land line phone numbers which are regularly updated from the 911 dispatch emergency database. These numbers are provided directly from the phone service providers. Currently about 100,000 numbers are registered in Code Red with about 38,000 of them being land lines. In addition, Code Red includes self-subscribing numbers that residents input for their cell phone numbers, emails, and any other phone number they want. Text messages and TTY communications are supported too. A resident can subscribe to receive multiple methods of communication. The system is dependent on local AT&T central office capability to process concurrent calls, as well as to wildfire impacts if communication cables and/or cell towers are damaged. Some of the recent regional wildfire issues with Code Red were how the system was utilized, not particularly limitations of the system, however some limitations did occur as well with congestion, calls not going through, etc. In response to this, the State of California issued best practice guidelines for how these alert systems are used and are requiring local jurisdictions to develop a policy around them; which the County is currently drafting. Additionally, Code Red is a conduit for access to the federal Wireless Alert System which will send a text message to all cell phones within range. Under any likely use scenario, Code Red could fall short of being 100% effective and notifying every resident during an emergency for one of many factors. While a critical system for residents to register with, the County encourages residents to not rely on Code Red as their single source of emergency notification.The County emergency operations center (EOC) works closely with local radio KNCO and KVMR during all emergency evacuation events, as well as with YubaNet and The Union. Residents are advised to have a battery-operated radio in case of power and telecommunication outages, so they can tune into local radio for current evacuation information as it is announced.
The Sheriff’s Office makes every attempt to go door to door throughout an evacuation area as well as utilizing vehicle PA systems to warn residents as time and resources permit.
Residents can take several steps to insure they get notified during an emergency event. More information on situational awareness, building an emergency communication contact network, and being prepared for evacuations can be found at www.ReadyNevadaCounty.org .
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CodeRED is a high-speed mass notification system designed to keep you safe in the event of an emergency. This service allows us to deliver emergency or time-sensitive messages to you via text, email, landline, cell phone, RSS, social media, or a mobile application push. CodeRED alerts will display as originating from 866-419-5000 on your caller ID. If you missed any of the message details, you can also dial the number back to hear the complete message.
CodeRED will be used for emergency or time-sensitive situations to keep you informed. We might use CodeRED in situations such as wildfires, evacuation notices, floods, boil water notices, criminal activity, and missing persons/children.
All alerts or notifications issued through CodeRED are generated by local officials of Nevada County. CodeRED is geo-location based and alerts only residents only within the affected area.
Residents can sign up for CodeRED alerts at https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/CA8B57E20D17.
It is recommended to sign up all phone numbers associated with your home address. For example, sign up your cell phone, your landline, and your family members cell phones who are living at your residence so everyone receives a CodeRED emergency alert during an emergency event in your neighborhood.
It is also recommended to add CodeRED's two phone numbers 1(866) 419-5000 and 1(855) 969-4636 to your cell phone and/or landline contacts as "CodeRED Emergency Alerts." This way, when you receive a phone call from either of CodeRED's phone numbers during an emergency event, you will be able to recognize the call as a CodeRED alert rather than easily mistaking the 1-866 or 1-855 number as a telemarketer.
Residents are given the option to create a managed account, or simply review and submit their information. Creating a managed account is recommended because it will allow you access to modify your existing notification settings and contact information.
Registering for CodeRED alerts is 100% FREE and simple. Residents can customize their alert preferences and choose to receive alerts via phone call, text, and/or email.
Residents can also download the FREE CodeRED Mobile Alert app to receive notifications directly to their mobile device, however it is highly recommended for residents to register for CodeRED alerts rather than just downloading the app. The CodeRED Mobile Alert app is available through the Apple Store or Google Play.
211 Connecting Point is helping Nevada County residents with sign up assistance. Residents with 530 area codes can dial 2-1-1 to talk to someone over the phone who can help you sign up for CodeRED Emergency Alerts. However, accounts set up over the phone will not be a managed account where information can be modified later. If 211 is not able to answer your question, they will help refer you to Nevada County's Office of Emergency Services (OES).
Emergency alert siren systems have been very successful for tornados, hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, and other events where a clear “call-to-action” is well defined and residents then know what to do when the alert goes off. The unpredictable nature of wildfires introduces new challenges to how these systems can be leveraged and used successfully.
Several communities are starting to explore using siren systems for wildfire and the County has been researching best practices as well. OES staff recently talked with a SoCal coastal community that is expanding their tsunami system for wildfire alerts. Their proposed system would add 15 new sirens to cover 9 square miles at an estimated $1,000,000 capital cost and $50,000 annual maintenance cost. Lake Wildwood researched a solution of 6 sirens for a $120,000 estimated cost (sirens only.) The City of Nevada City is exploring a solution with one siren at a cost of $38,500. The Town of Truckee researched and evaluated siren systems and has decided not to move a project forward at this time for a wide range of reasons. They estimated a cost of over $500,000 to cover the Town’s populated area with 10 sirens.
The range, features, and costs of siren systems varies greatly from simple tone only solutions to more advanced voice message systems. Each has range and capability limitations and require satellite/radio communications, backup power, towers, control systems, security, and other infrastructure needs.
The County continues to research solutions and talk with jurisdictions who are successfully moving projects forward. Scaling an emergency alert siren system from a densely populated city example to the County’s 450+ rural area that is very topology diverse will create many challenges, funding being a major one. The County is closely following SB 130 which is a current bill to provide CA Cities funding for a siren system. The County’s legislative advocates are reaching out to the bill’s author to see if rural counties can be added as well. As the bill sits today, there is no current State funding allocated to it. The County will continue to explore siren systems and evaluate if they can be locally deployed as a safe, reliable, effective, and sustainable solution.
The Office of Emergency Services works closely with local radio stations during emergencies and has pre-planned and coordinated interfaces with them once the County’s emergency operations center (EOC) is activated.