CodeRED Emergency Test

By: Meaghan M. Norman Email
By: Meaghan M. Norman Email
Ingham County has a new emergency alert system, are you registered?

The T-Mobile G1 combines full touch-screen functionality and a QWERTY keyboard with a mobile Web experience that includes popular Google services. (Photo: Business Wire)

Tuesday was a test for the new Ingham County Code Red system. More than 200,000 phone numbers were called to make sure that the county can in touch with you during an emergency. The system is designed to keep people safe but not everyone is on board.

If you live in Ingham County, chances are that you've heard this automated recording: "This is the Ingham County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management with an important test message for all residents."

"We're calling every phone number in Ingham County -- landline, business -- anything in our 9-1-1 database and matched with the AT&T database," said Sgt. Robert Ott, with the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department with the Ingham County Sheriff's Office.

It's called Code Red. It's a new system that alerts resident to an emergency through a phone call.

"If we have to do an evacuation or shelter or there's a hostage situation on your street or something you need to know about," said Sgt. Ott.

"If you're not sitting in front of a t.v., not listening to the radio, kids are out on the road, you can get this info and give it to the rest of your family," said Holt resident Rachel Wedley.

The system is brand new, but it's already been used twice. During the Adams Plating fire in December of last year. The message told resident that there were hazardous materials in the area and should keep all windows and doors closed. And, back in February during the snow emergency, people were asked to move their parked cars so plows could get through.

It took just 2 hours to call all the numbers in Ingham County. If you have an unlisted number or cell phone you'll need to go online and register it. We put a link to the Web site at the end of this article. Now many say it's a system that works but there are some who just aren't buying it.

"I think it's a waste of time and money," said Jim Nevins of Holt. "What's wrong with the sirens we use now for tornadoes and stuff?"

The county got a $150,000 federal grant to cover the expenses for three years. And it insists that it's not a sales call.

"This is for emergency uses only and that's the only time you could be called," said Sgt. Ott.

"I figure they're using it for the right reasons," said Wedley.

Eaton, Clinton, Jackson and Hillsdale counties are looking into joining the Code Red system in the near future as well. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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