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With just two weeks to go, the FCC has now released a special Handbook with instructions for the November 9th National EAS Test, as well as making a web portal available for post-test reporting of test results. All broadcasters and cable operators, which the FCC calls “EAS Participants”, are required to participate in this test. One question that has been lingering is what Non-participating National (NN) stations, which would normally sign off the air during a national emergency, are to do during the test.

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During the month of September, AWARE will be hosting a series of posts from guest authors highlighting the five most significant innovations in the field of alerts and warnings in the past decade since 9/11. In this post, Hal Grieb, noted expert on social media and emergency management, discusses how social media has evolved to be such an important tool in the arsenal of public safety in the past ten years.   

In the 10 years that have passed since the 9/11 tragedy, public safety agencies have witnessed many technological advancements that aid society. One such technology, which has pervaded many aspects of modern life, is social media—an advancement that has come to be so accepted in our society that it was formally added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in August 2011. Though government has made strides in using these new tools to interact with the public, adoption has been slow for the most part. However, moving forward, the public sector must be more proactive in interacting with citizens where they already reside. Continue reading »

During the month of September, AWARE will be hosting a series of posts from guest authors highlighting the five most significant innovations in the field of alerts and warnings in the past decade since 9/11. In this post, Courtney Cunningham, Senior Associate for the Lafayette Group and a former external affairs officer for Chatham County, Georgia, discusses the significance of local emergency notification systems. 

In a post 9-11 world, emergency notification systems have become a popular technological advancement for emergency response personnel to communicate with the public. The last decade has seen an insurgence of developers offering low-cost solutions to reach every resident within a specific jurisdiction. But do these systems truly work and are they reaching the specific populations that need the emergency information most? Continue reading »

During the month of September, AWARE will be hosting a series of posts from guest authors highlighting the five most significant innovations in the field of alerts and warnings in the past decade since 9/11. This post is the final of three on the CMAS Users Trial conducted in San Diego, authored by Stephen Rea, Senior Emergency Services Coordinator of the County of San Diego (California) Office of Emergency Services. 

As part of a coordinated effort with Sprint and the California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA), The County of San Diego Office of Emergency Services (OES) had a unique opportunity to become the first in the nation to test the Commercial Mobile Alert Service (CMAS, also known as the Personalized Local Alerting Network, or PLAN) on a large scale. During the October 2010 trial, over 50 imminent threat and AMBER alerts were generated. These alerts were received by 120 mobile phones preloaded with CMAS software. Our intent was to put PLAN through its paces by simulating large and small disasters ranging from earthquakes and tsunamis to hazardous materials spills. Continue reading »

During the month of September, AWARE will be hosting a series of posts from guest authors highlighting the five most significant innovations in the field of alerts and warnings in the past decade since 9/11. This post is the second of three on the CMAS Users Trial conducted in San Diego, authored by Stephen Rea, Senior Emergency Services Coordinator of the County of San Diego (California) Office of Emergency Services. 

As part of a coordinated effort with Sprint and the California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA), The County of San Diego Office of Emergency Services (OES) had a unique opportunity to become the first in the nation to test the Commercial Mobile Alert Service (CMAS, also known as the Personalized Local Alerting Network, or PLAN) on a large scale. During the October 2010 trial, over 50 imminent threat and AMBER alerts were generated. These alerts were received by 120 mobile phones preloaded with CMAS software. Our intent was to put PLAN through its paces by simulating large and small disasters ranging from earthquakes and tsunamis to hazardous materials spills. Continue reading »