A lot of us don’t give having an FM radio receiver in our mobile device a second thought, but for those caught up in the recent storms and ensuing power outages having FM available in their cellphones could have been a lifeline. So says the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), which has been advocating for FM in mobile devices for years.
The past week has seen a number of devastating tornadoes cause widespread destruction across the Midwestern and Southern U.S. The storms between February 29 and March 5 have claimed the lives of at least 50 people and caused massive loss of property. The tornadoes were many and widespread: the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center received 81 reports of tornadoes on Friday, March 2–just shy of the average number of tornadoes the nation sees in the entire month of March (87).
As cleanup efforts continue, much of the discussion around these storms has turned to the alert and warning systems in the various areas stricken: how well did they work, how did they impact the public’s actions, and what could be improved next time. Of course, the effectiveness of these systems will vary from county to county, and the final analysis is not yet in in many places. But there are a few interesting stories to note in how alerting systems performed during this punishing stretch. Continue reading »
While vacationing with her family at the beach this summer, one of our AWARE editors experienced first-hand a prime situation in which alerts to mobile devices–like those that will be enabled by the Commercial Mobile Alert Service (CMAS)–will be critical. But with a goal of reaching as many members of the public as possible, the limitations of CMAS were equally as evident. Continue reading »