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There's city vs. county confusion when it comes to some emergency alerts

Some Coloradans in Adams County had trouble signing up for alerts. It could be because certain parts of the county have their own accounts you need to register with.

DENVER — We have encouraged you to sign up for your county's emergency notifications.

That should come with a caveat, because some cities have their own alert system requiring signing up with your city and not county.

"In early January, after the Marshall Fire, when you said, 'Get online and sign up for CodeRED,' I did and I couldn't," said Westminster resident Cheryl Buhler.

Cheryl, along with Alaina, Anthony, K and Deb, reached out to let us know that they were unsuccessful trying to sign up for CodeRED with Adams County.

They received the warning, "The location you entered is outside of your community's CodeRED service area."

"I suspect there's probably several people like me that are trying to do it, run up to a roadblock and they go, 'Yeah, I'll figure it out later,'" said Buhler.

It turns out the issue is as frustrating as it is simple.

Some of the areas where Adams County handles reverse notification signups include unincorporated Adams County, Brighton, Commerce City and Northglenn.

Cheryl lives in Westminster, which has its own CodeRED account, separate from Adams County.

By going to the Westminster CodeRED page, she was able to register.

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"Congratulations. You've been successfully added to receive CodeRED," said Buhler.

The CodeRED page she went to looked nearly identical to the Adams County page except for the information in the top right corner.

Adams County's sign up has the Adams County logo in the top right corner and says, "Adams County, CO."

Westminster's sign up does not have a logo and says "Broomfield & Jefferson Counties, CO" in the top right corner.

"But it doesn't say 'city of Westminster.' It says, 'Broomfield and Jefferson County.' It doesn't say the city of Westminster," said Buhler.

Part of Westminster is in Jefferson County and Adams County, but even though it only says, "Broomfield & Jefferson Counties," Westminster addresses get signed up successfully.

Thornton also has its own CodeRED page.

"If you are a Thornton resident, have a Thornton address, then we recommend that you go on to our website and sign up for CodeRED," said Thornton Emergency Manager Ryan Doyle. "Not all counties cover their entire jurisdiction."

According to Doyle, about 40,000 of 140,000 people in Thornton (around 27%) have signed up for the opt-in emergency notifications.

"Really, what you need to do is whichever city you live in, go on to their website and see if they do have their own notification system," said Doyle. "If they don't, then I would recommend going to the county."

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

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