It works. The City of Margate tested its Code Red emergency notification system at 11 a.m. Monday.
Code Red is an automated system that calls residents on the phone and delivers recorded messages warning them of urgent situations in their area.
The system made more than 27,000 auto-dialed phone calls within 30 minutes and 14,500 calls were answered, according to Fire Rescue Division Chief Dan Booker.
"The phone call said, 'This is only a test of the Code Red system,'" Booker said. "We're encouraging residents to sign up for the new features that include text messaging and e-mail service."
About 450 people signed up for the new notification alternatives and 300 more called Margate city officials for an explanation of the automated calls, he said.
The Daytona Beach-based Code Red system is in use nationwide, including about 30 percent of Broward's municipalities.
Margate residents can sign-up for the voluntary service at http://www.margatefl.com, or go to City Hall at 5790 Margate Boulevard. Margate's CODE RED database is strictly protected, Booker said.