Yellowstone County Emergency & General Services

BILLINGS - The Disaster & Emergency Services Division released a statement on Facebook in regards to the shelter in place notice issued Monday morning. The shelter in place was issued in relation to a hostage situation on the 300 block of Stillwater Lane.

After sending out a CodeRed alert at approximately 6:45 a.m. to a limited area within the Heights, a second message was sent out around 8:45 a.m.

DES says the second public safety message was sent out to a small area directly involved in the threat, using the Federal alerting system known as IPAWS. 

They say the IPAWS system did not recognize the mapped area and sent the message to "shelter in place" to all of Yellowstone County. This problem, they say, is being addressed.

"The Billings PD, 911 dispatch and CodeRed system worked exceptionally well. The IPAWS alerting system did not work as expected," DES said in a statement. "On behalf of the DES office and all public safety entities, I want to extend an apology for any hardships or confusion this widely distributed message may have caused."

The public is encouraged to sign up for CodeRed through the Yellowstone County website, or by texting "Yellowstone" to 99411.
DES says CodeRed is the primary public alerting mechanism for all of Billings, Laurel, Broadview and Yellowstone County.
If you have questions or comments, you can contact Yellowstone County DES by emailing

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