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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Mayor Brown's Programs > CodeRED



What is CodeRED and why is it important to me?
CodeRED is a new emergency notification service by which city officials can notify Buffalo residents and businesses by telephone, cellular phone, text message, or electronic mail about time-sensitive emergency situations or important community alerts. The system is capable of sending messages only to specific neighborhoods or the entire city.  Only authorized officials are allowed access to the system.

For what kinds of situations will CodeRED be used?
Any message regarding the safety or welfare of our community would be disseminated using the CodeRED system.

Does the CodeRED system replace other systems that have been used to provide time-sensitive information to residents?
This system is an enhancement to existing means of communication and is supplemental to, not a replacement for, any systems we have used in the past. 

Does the City have my telephone number, or do I have to sign up to receive CodeRED emergency calls?
The Code Red Database does use information received from public databases including regional phonebooks. Cellphones and Unlisted numbers may not be available. The home page of the City of Buffalo website,, has a link to a CodeRED registration form you can fill out online. This is the quickest way to sign up because the information you supply will immediately update Buffalo’s CodeRED telephone number database. On-line registration is the most efficient, accurate and private way to supply your information. To register on-line you might first have to adjust your internet browser to enable cookies, otherwise you may receive an error message. If you can not register on-line, you can call the Mayor’s call and resolution center at 311 or 716-851-4890 and one of our call center agents will register your number online. It is our intention and hope that every residence and commercial facility in our community will be included in the notification database.

I have a business located in the City of Buffalo. Can I arrange to have CodeRED call my business?
Yes. Fill out the CodeRed registration form but be sure to select the “This address is business” option. Please note that emergency calls can only be delivered to a direct dial number. Automated attendants will disrupt the process and the calls will not be delivered. Businesses should register their main number and establish a procedure for distributing the CodeRED message to their workforce.

The registration form only allows me to enter a primary and secondary telephone number. What if I want to register additional numbers for my address?
After you submit the initial registration form, you may start the registration process again and submit more numbers for the same address.

What precautions are being taken to protect personal information?
CodeRED is a service of Emergency Communications Network (ECN) which takes security and privacy concerns very seriously and does not sell trade, lease or loan any data about clients to any third party.

How will I recognize a CodeRED message?
A CodeRED Emergency message will have a caller ID of 866-419-5000. A CodeRED General message will have a caller ID 855-969-4636. We suggest you program both numbers in your cell phone as a “new contact” and use “CodeRED Emergency” and “CodeRED General” as the contact name. If you need to replay the emergency notification message again, simply dial the number and you will be able to hear the message again. A CodeRED message will begin with the same standard announcement: “Hello, this is ______ calling with an important message from the City of Buffalo”. The message content will follow this standard introduction.

What should I do if I receive a CodeRED message?
Listen carefully to the entire message. It will be brief and at the end of the message, you will have the option to repeat the message by pressing any key. Follow the instructions given.  Do not hang up until you have heard the entire message or you might miss vital information. Do not call 911 for further information unless directed to do so or if you need immediate aid from the Police or Fire department.

Will CodeRED leave a message on a machine?
Yes, CodeRED will leave a message on a machine or on voice mail. Part of the CodeRED solution is the patented ability to recognize answering devices and leave the message completely in one pass.

What happens if the line is busy?
If the line is busy, CodeRED will try two more times to connect.

What circumstances might prohibit a message from being delivered to me?

  1. If you have moved or changed your phone number and have not registered your new contact information, CodeRED may not be able to contact you.
  2. If you have only cordless phones in your residence, the power is out and you have not registered an alternate phone number, CodeRED will not be able to contact you.
  3. If your line is busy for an extended period and your calls do not forward to voice mail or an answering machine in a busy condition, after three tries CodeRED will stop calling your number. The Town will receive a report of undelivered calls and can instruct CodeRED to begin another round of calls to busy numbers. It’s best to have an alternate phone number in the calling database for these situations.
  4. If you have privacy manager on your main phone service, CodeRED will not be able to contact you unless you have registered an alternate number that will accept the call.