System replaces Instant Alert.

    Polk County will be using CodeRED for their emergency communications to the public.  Sheriff Barb Erdman said Code RED has replaced Polk County’s previous Instant Alert System with the company named “Emergency Communications Network,” the provider of the CodeRED high-speed notification solution.  The new system also includes providing the CodeRED Weather Warning service for the residents of Polk County.

    CodeRED Weather Warning is an opt-in only product that taps into the National Weather Service’s Storm Based Warnings. CodeRED Weather Warning automatically alerts affected citizens in the path of severe weather just moments after a warning has been issued by the National Weather Service. Calls are delivered so quickly they often arrive prior to any other public notifications, before television or weather radio broadcasts are aired. Based on the NWS’s polygon methodology, only citizens in the path of projected weather are contacted.

    When residents enroll to receive CodeRED Weather Warning notifications, they can select the types of alerts they would like to receive, that include severe thunderstorm warnings, tornado warnings, flash flood warnings and winter storm warnings.

    This free update will allow residents to identify calls coming through the systems. Recipients’ Caller ID will read Emergency Communications Network or 866-419-5000 for CodeRED calls. For CodeRED Weather Warnings, Emergency Communications Network or the number 800-566-9780 will appear on Caller ID displays.

    “Residents can simply dial the number displayed on their Caller ID to hear the last message delivered,” Erdman explained.”This will greatly reduce the number of inbound inquiries handled by our Dispatch Center and will offer residents an immediate replay of the message.”

    The CodeRED system provides Polk County officials the ability to quickly deliver messages to targeted areas or the entire County of Polk. If you are not sure that you are included in the database, log onto the Polk County Website at, CO.POLK.MN.US, and follow the link to the "CodeRED Community Notification Enrollment" page. It is recommended that all businesses register, as well as all individuals who have unlisted phone numbers, who have changed their phone number or address within the past year, and those who use a cellular phone or VoIP phone as their primary number.

    Those without Internet access may call Polk County Emergency Management (281-0437) to supply their information over the phone.

    Polk County Residents with any questions about the new CodeRED emergency alert system are encouraged to call either Nancy Shafer, Polk County Dispatch supervisor/emergency manager at 281-0437 or Erdman at 281-0431.