CodeRED Messages - The Basics

A CodeRED message should be 120 seconds or less.  Otherwise, messages may be ignored or deleted. Our messages should be short, concise, and direct residents to our website for more details.

Whenever a CodeRED message is sent out, we should have an exact duplicate as a newsflash on our website.  This newsflash should also be minimal length, to be informative.  For longer explanations, we should draft a detailed document to be stored on our website, and referenced by a URL link in the CodeRED or Newsflash item.     

    1. Before you begin, draft out the full text of your message in Word or Google Docs.  This will help you with spelling, syntax, and any refinement.  You can then cut and paste your message into both CodeRED and the website.  We suggest setting up several interchangeable templates for your department, to keep the theme of the messages consistent.

    2. Begin every message with the following text:  “This is an important message from the Town of Shrewsbury XXXXX Department.”  With XXXXX obviously being your department.  This helps advise the resident as to whom the message is coming from.

    3. The suggested standard start to any notification would be to advise residents of the date, time, location, duration and nature of the work performed or emergency situation.  

    4. End every message with the text:  “For more information, please view our website at www.ShrewsburyMA.gov. Please contact the Shrewsbury XXXXX Department with any questions or concerns at 508-841-XXXX.  We thank you for your patience.”  This standardizes and makes a uniform ending to all our calls.

PLEASE NOTE: rather than explain a complex map in a phone message, it’s recommended to advised residents that there’s work being done “in your area” or “in your neighborhood”.  Because when we map a call, we are going to target only the affected area, only those affected will receive a call.  If however, we are sending town-wide, be brief but accurate in calling out the location of the incident.  

ALSO - we recommend using the computer-generated (CG) voice for all messages.  Be aware that this CG voice Important Note - CodeRED will read your message in a computer voice to generate the call.  It reads what you write verbatim. So if you type “st” the voice is going to hiss “sssstttt”.  You need to type out “street” in full.  

ALSO, all text messages are limited to 160 characters or less, so they must be trimmed down substantially.  Sample - “Water Sys Maint. your area.  Oct 18-24, 8a-2p; flushing. Oct 19, 21 & 24; 4a-7a; cleaning.  Run water if cloudy; call Shrew Water with questions 508-841-8506”


 

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  1. Log into CodeRED using your UserID and password.

  1. From the Dashboard screen, select the “Scenario Manager” icon on the left side.

  1. From within the Scenario Manager, select the “Build a New Scenario” icon at the bottom right corner of the page.

  1. The “Create a Scenario” dialog box will open.  As a naming standard, use the prefix “Town” on all Town scenarios.  For trash delays, I use “Town Trash Delay DATE” to make them easier to find later.

  1. This will then open up the Scenario Builder.  First, select the database you want to use. Trash collection, water issues, road closings all use the Emergency database.

  1. Then build your audience.  You can select an existing audience or create one.  For water calls you can create a new audience by selecting that button, then use the map to localize the affected area.  For trash collection, tap the select an audience bar, and scroll to the bottom. All daily routes have a pre-built audience.

  1. Next, press the create message button.  The message creator dialog box will open, use the same name that you did for your scenario.  IE if the scenario is called Town Trash Delay Monday, Feb 8, then name the message also Town Trash Delay Monday, Feb 8.

  1. This will open the message builder panel.  Select the message components you want to use (Voice, data, email, txt, ttd).

  1. As you select these options, the message editor box will populate with each corresponding tab.  On the voice tabs (primary and secondary) you can cut the message you typed in step one, and paste it into the speech to text box.  This will transcribe what you type as a computer voice message. Cut and past the same text for secondary voice, email and TTD (for the deaf).  Hit the save message bar on each tab. For text, you are limited to 160 characters, so you need to distill your message down to fit the limits. Once your message has been built, close the message builder.

  1. If you don’t want to launch now, you can save it and launch later.  Or schedule it to go off at a certain time. Otherwise, hit the launch now button, and enter your launch code.    







 

Sample Messages:

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This is an important message from the Town of Shrewsbury Water Department.

On Sunday October ninth between the hours of 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM, the water service in your area will be shut off due to transmission line maintenance. This maintenance is required to clean our water main coming from the water treatment plant. We will do everything in our power to try and finish maintenance early, to minimize disruption of your service.

Because of this maintenance, residents in this area may temporarily experience discolored water. Should this occur, we encourage residents to run your water lines for a short time to clear out any sediment. We thank you for your patience.

Please refer to our website for more detailed information at www.Shrewsburyma.gov/water. Please contact the Shrewsbury Water Department with any questions or concerns at 508-841-8506.

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This is an important message from the Town of Shrewsbury Water Department.

The Town of Shrewsbury will again be performing vital transmission line maintenance to assist in correcting water conditions for our residents.  You are receiving this message because your neighborhood will be in the affected area. There are several activities scheduled day and night time from now until Monday, October 24th.

Beginning Tuesday, October 18 and continuing daily through Friday, October 21st, the Shrewsbury Water Department will be performing system gate and hydrant flushing daily between the hours of 8:30 AM and 2:30 PM.  Additionally, on Wednesday, October 19th, Friday, October 21st and Monday, October 24th, the Water Department will be performing water main cleaning between the hours of 4:00 am and 7:00 am. This early morning work is specifically targeted at cleaning manganese out of our water mains.

As we have advised you in the past, this kind of activity often causes water clarity issues. This may extend beyond the individual neighborhood affected to adjacent homes. Should this occur, we encourage residents to run your water lines for a short time to clear out any sediment. We thank you for your patience.

For more information, please view our website at www.ShrewsburyMA.gov/water. Please contact the Shrewsbury Water Department with any questions or concerns at 508-841-8506.

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Changed for voice recognition -

For more information, please view our website at w w w dot shrewsbury m a dot gov.  Please contact the Shrewsbury Water Department with any questions or concerns at 508-841-8506.


 

Shortened for text message -

Water Sys Maint. your area.  Oct 18-24, 8a-2p; flushing. Oct 19, 21 & 24; 4a-7a; cleaning.  Run water if cloudy; call Shrew Water with questions 508-841-8506

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  • 08-Mar-2019
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