Fire & EMS FAQs
What is CodeRED® and why is it important to me?
CodeRED® is a new Prince George County service by which County officials can notify residents by telephone about emergency situations or critical community alerts. The system is capable of sending messages only to people affected by a particular situation, or, in the case of a widespread emergency like a hurricane, or the County's entire population.
The speed of the CodeRED® system (up to 60,000 calls per hour) is so great that the County is able to send a message to affected households almost as quickly as County officials become aware of the situation.
Does this mean the County will be calling me constantly?
No. Prince George County respects your privacy. CodeRED® will be used only when situations arise that you should know about.
The system will be used to send messages only to those residents who are directly affected by a particular event. For example, if you happen to live in an area for which a "boil water" advisory has been issued due to a water main break, CodeRED® will only call you and your neighbors to deliver that very important health advisory.
If there is a County or region-wide emergency such as a hurricane, all Prince George County residents will be called and kept up-to-date on developments.
For what kinds of situations will CodeRED® be used?
Hurricanes and other types of severe weather, wildfire, water main breaks, alerts concerning a missing child or adult, road closings, traffic alerts, law enforcement emergencies, hazardous material spills -- in short, any and all emergencies and community alerts.
Why do I need CodeRED® when I have radio and TV to keep me informed?
CodeRED® is an additional measure of safety the Prince George County Board of Supervisors and administration believe all of the residents need and deserve. If power goes out, you may not be able to depend upon radio and TV. However, because telephone lines are self-powered, the County can continue to keep you informed through messages delivered by CodeRED®.
Even if you have power, CodeRED® will probably be able to reach you with important information faster than TV and radio stations can broadcast it. That is because CodeRED® is a direct connection between you and Prince George County.
And unlike hurricanes, many emergencies occur without advanced warning. In such cases, you may have no reason to turn on a TV or radio. That is when CodeRED® can help County officials alert you immediately and advise you to take appropriate action.
I have a cordless phone, and it does not work when the power goes out. How is the County going to be able to contact me?
There are two ways you can continue to receive telephone messages from the County through CodeRED®:
- Make sure you have at least one working corded telephone, and be sure to turn the ringer on.
- The CodeRED® Residential Data Collection sign-up form gives you the option of filling in both a Primary Phone Number and an alternate phone number. You can fill-in the Alternate Phone Number blank with your cell telephone number, or you can make it your primary number if you wish. Entering an alternate phone number will cause BOTH your primary and alternate phone numbers to be called.
Of course, no form of communication is guarantee to remain in operation under sever conditions such as those produced by a powerful hurricane or a wildfire. CodeRED® does widen the safety margin by offering County residents another new and powerful means of learning about vital, timely information.
Do I have to pay extra for CodeRED® service?
No. CodeRED® is entirely paid for by Prince George County at a cost of less than 20 cents per resident per year.
Does the County have my telephone number or do I have to sign up to receive CodeRED® emergency calls?
We strongly encourage you to sign up for CodeRED®. You are the most reliable source of information about how to reach your household by phone.
Because Prince George County wants to reach everyone affected by an emergency whether or not they have signed up for CodeRED®, two Prince George County telephone number databases are already available to the system. One is the Emergency 9-1-1 database that all public safety agencies in Prince George County use whenever someone dials 9-1-1. The other is a database prepared by the company that supplies CodeRED® service to the County. Both databases are updated regularly.
If you have moved or changed your telephone number recently, you should definitely sign up for CodeRED® service or update information you have already provided. Any new information you supply will automatically replace old information.
Can I arrange to have CodeRED® call my place of business?
Yes. Go to the CodeRED® sign-up link and you will be redirected to the CodeRED® site. When the Residential Data Collection form opens, click on the button labeled Click to Switch to Business Data and fill in the required information. Please note that emergency calls can only be delivered to a direct dial number. Automated attendants will disrupt the process and calls will not be delivered.
Can I choose NOT to receive CodeRED® messages?
Yes. Prince George County respects your privacy.
If you do not want to receive calls, please notify Prince George County in writing. However, we strongly advise you to reconsider. CodeRED® is designed to make certain you receive fast, accurate emergency information directly from the County officials whose is to help protect you and your family.
All letters can be directed to:
Prince George County
Department of Fire, EMS & Emergency Management
P.O. Box 68
Prince George, VA 23875
Who provides the CodeRED® service? Is the company reputable?
Emergency Communications Network in Ormond Beach, Florida provides the service to Prince George County. In business since 1996, the company provides CodeRED® service to several localities in Virginia, including the City of Hopewell. One of the many reasons Prince George County chose CodeRED® was the very positive experiences other localities have had using the system.
I live near Prince George County, but I am not a resident. Can I sign up for CodeRED®?
No, unfortunately. Prince George County pays for CodeRED® service based on its own population. However, we encourage you to check with the county or city in which you live. Many use automated telephone notification systems to alert residents in times of emergency.
For updates, you can also check local news media sources and visit the Prince George County web site.
County staff members will regularly check the CodeRED® database and eliminate addresses and telephone numbers not located within Prince George County's borders.