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Aurora tries new method to send emergency alerts

Aurora is expected to soon finalize the process to use the IPAWS cell phone text alert notification system. It works like an AMBER Alert.

AURORA, Colo. — Have you signed up for your county's reverse emergency notification?

Ever since the Marshall Fire, residents have been encouraged to sign up for their individual county's opt-in notification system. Most in Colorado used CodeRed.

Aurora also uses CodeRED for the city. By the end of the month, the city should be ready to use the IPAWS notification system that alerts cell phones within a specifically drawn area.

But IPAWS alerts will only be used in Aurora during mass notification situations.

"Maybe a shelter in place for police activity at a location, at a residence, or maybe we have some type of a fire, a structure fire and you can't enter the area," said Aurora 911 Director Tina Buneta.

Buneta still pushes for residents to get signed up for the CodeRED system because that will still primarily be used.

"We could not deploy IPAWS for localized events because the federal government has restrictions in place and thresholds for what meets the criteria so that it is no overutilized," said Buneta.

In February, Aurora saw a 45 percent increase in the number of opt-ins to the CodeRED system.

Unfortunately, 45 percent is fewer than 6,000 additional people.

There are now 17,394 people opted-in. At the end of January, it was 11,932.

Aurora's 2020 population was 386,261.

"We are encouraged by a 45 percent increase in a month, just a little over a month. But we also recognize we have more work to do," said Buneta.

You can sign up for Aurora CodeRED notifications here or you can text "AURORA" to 99411.

RELATED: How to sign up for your county's emergency alerts

RELATED: Summit County uses wireless emergency alerts more regularly than others

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