CodeRED emergency notification app: How does it work?

August 6, 2014

Don Hall, ECN's Director of Government Relations

Don Hall, ECN’s Director of Government Relations

For authorized representatives from public safety organizations:

The CodeRED emergency notification app, CodeRED Mobile Alert, is a sophisticated answer to the question asked by public safety officials nationwide: How can our messages reach residents who are constantly on-the-go and travelers who are just passing through town? The app can reach both of these parties because it is geo-aware and will send an emergency notification to the subscriber if an alert is issued for their specific location. Currently, there are hundreds of thousands of CodeRED Mobile Alert app subscribers nationwide.

Every CodeRED client who has the ability to send calls to their residents through the mapping component also has the ability to launch those messages to the CodeRED Mobile Alert app. When selecting the mobile app function, the message will be delivered instantaneously to app subscribers who are located in the defined geographic area of the alert. The app enhances the success of all public emergency notification efforts, especially during times of critical need.

If you are a CodeRED user but aren’t familiar with this capability, please contact your jurisdiction’s system administrator or your Emergency Communications Network’s (ECN) Client Support Representative today, 866-939-0911.

For smartphone owners:

The CodeRED Mobile Alert app can be downloaded free of charge from the App Store℠ or using the Google Play™ store app. Once downloaded, the subscriber has the ability to select the types of alerts they wish to receive as well as set a warning radius. Community, emergency and missing person alerts are always free. For $0.99, a CodeRED Weather Warning upgrade can be added to the app but is not required for purchase.

The app delivers alert messages based solely on the physical GPS location of the smartphone device. The alerting area is defined by the public safety official who utilizes CodeRED to issue the alert.

Subscribers living in that defined area or passing through that area when the alert is issued or is in the area at some point prior to the expiration time set for the alert, will receive the notification on their smartphone.

For additional information about CodeRED and the Mobile Alert app please visit

IPAWS Emergency Alerts:.

The CodeRED Mobile Alert app only provides alerts from the CodeRED emergency notification system; no alerts will be received from any other vendor. It is important to note that from time to time, your smartphone may be alerted from the FEMA IPAWS system through your cellular provider. A FEMA IPAWS alert known as WEA (Wireless Emergency Alerts) is a push broadcast delivered through cellular towers in the area of the alert and by the cellular providers that participate in the IPAWS government alerting program. Receiving an alert depends solely on the phone’s GPS location.

Most smartphones purchased after 2011 contain an embedded computer chip that is activated through the IPAWS system. This system only notifies smartphone users of Imminent Threat to lives and property, Amber Alerts and Presidential Alerts.

Each smartphone user can access the WEA feature through their phone’s “Settings.” It is here where you can then select the types of alerts you would like to receive through IPAWS. A user may elect to opt-out of everything except the Presidential Alert function.

Although the CodeRED system does provide an alert origination tool with the ability to send messages to IPAWS, it is not connected to the CodeRED Mobile Alert app.

For more information about WEA and the IPAWS program visit the following webpage:

You can download the CodeRED Mobile Alert app on your smartphone here.


ECN’s Director of Government Relations, Don Hall, has spent more than 40 years in public safety so his emergency management experience makes him ideal for helping our current clients, potential customers and the emergency management community to interact with regarding the need and use of mass notification systems for state and local governments.

If you have anything you would like to ask him, please click here to email your question and he will address your question directly in our “Ask Don” blog.

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