Buffalo unveils CodeRED emergency messaging system

Aug 2, 2013

Mayor Byron Brown and Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield unveiled the CodeRED system Thursday.
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

A new emergency notification service, the same one that was used in the Boston Marathon bombings, will soon be up and running in Buffalo.

Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield says the CodeRED system allows city officials to send phone calls, text messages, e-mails, and other digital alerts to residents and businesses in targeted areas.

"We could target a geographical area. We could target the even numbers on one side of a street. We can define our messaging very succinctly so that we can identify a large group of persons or just one small group," Whitfield says.

Mayor Byron Brown says the system will be highly functional for the community.

"The CodeRED system that we're going to use is the exact system that was used in Boston when the bombings occurred," Brown says. "We see how quickly that system worked, how effectively it worked, and it will be the same system that we have in the City of Buffalo."

The system will go into service a week from today, but residents and businesses can sign up now either at the city's website or by calling 311. 

A federal grant covered the cost of the $300,000 system.