CodeRED Provides Quick Notification in Emergencies

In order to inform residents, Washington Township uses CodeRED, an emergency alert system that relays information to residents by phone. The high-speed messaging system can deliver customized emergency notification and instructions at a rate of 60,000 calls per hour.

Residential landline telephones automatically receive CodeRED messages, however Washington Township businesses must register if they wish to receive emergency notification. Residents should register if they:

  • Want their cell phone called
  • Want to provide a work phone as a back-up to their home phone
  • Want to provide a caregiver back-up number
  • Recently moved and kept their old phone number
  • Have changed their phone number in the past six months
  • Use a TDD/TTY

Register your phone number for CodeRED

More About CodeRED

What is CodeRED?

CodeRED is a computer-generated, high-speed messaging system used by Washington Township, Centerville and other area communities through a program coordinated by the Miami Valley Communications Council. On a national level, CodeRED already has proved effective in many emergencies, from child abductions to hurricane alerts.

The city and township have had an agreement since 2005 with Communications Network, Inc., the Florida company that administers CodeRED.

How does it work?

The dialing system will leave emergency messages on voicemail or answering machines. If the dialing system doesn’t reach a person or message system, it will attempt each phone number three times, then try a back-up number if one has been registered. Pagers can not receive CodeRED alerts. The service is provided at no charge to residents.

When is it used?

In an emergency situation, the Township Administrator, City Manager, or their designees, will determine specific areas or neighborhoods to be notified and then create a recorded message that describes the emergency and provides instructions and information.

Potential uses include fires, floods, water boil alerts, missing persons, evacuation notices, crime alerts, terrorist threats, chemical spills, drinking water contamination, viral outbreaks, utility outages and street closures. “We use CodeRED selectively,” says Township Administrator Jesse Lightle. “We utilize it to keep our residents informed.”

The system may be used along with other emergency communication methods, including WCWT 107.3 FM, she said.

How does CodeRED get its phone numbers?

The CodeRED system uses a database of phone numbers obtained from the credit bureau. The list, which is updated quarterly, includes all residents with a landline phone. Local businesses, residents who use a cell phone as a primary phone, and residents who have an unlisted number are encouraged to register with CodeRED in order to receive emergency alerts. The same is true for residents with a TDD/TTY for the hearing impaired in their home.

Residents also may register an alternative phone number such as a work number or cell phone number for back-up. Caregivers and family members may find it helpful to register their phone number as an alternate for someone who is ill or elderly. The CodeRED alert will dial both phone numbers to communicate the emergency message.


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