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Kent to test CodeRED emergency system

Emergency-preparedness officials from the City of Kent will conduct a test of its CodeRED emergency notification system April 20, starting at 10 a.m. The day-long test is an effort to ensure the proper functioning of the system, as well as remind residents and business owners within Kent’s city limits to enter their contact information online at www.kentCodeRED.com.

Implemented in September 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.

Kent’s Emergency Manager, Dominic Marzano said if your contact information is in the CodeRED database, you will receive a test notification by phone, email and/or text message. “It’s a great way to notify residents with emergency information," he said. "While we want to test the system, we don’t want to cause alarm.”

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

In Kent, all messages will begin with “This is a test of the City of Kent emergency notification system.” If a phone is not answered, the system will try again, up to three times, leaving a message on the final attempt.

Marzano cautioned that the system is only as good as the database supporting it. “While CodeRED begins with an existing database of telephone numbers, 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

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 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 an 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 Kent Emergency Management at 253-856-4440, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to request a registration form by mail.

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