from Inside Radio - December 30, 2013
In recent decades more federal government work has shifted to outside contractors, and that’s what the Federal Emergency Management Agency is considering as a way to upgrade and fortify the emergency alert system. Regulators haven’t yet decided whether to use an outside vendor. The first step is a RFI —
or Request for Information — seeking “suggestions from knowledgeable individuals” who can share the “best methods for providing a highly reliable and highly available application and data center services” for the alert system’s backbone. Known as the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, or IPAWS, federal agencies are looking for ways to ensure that it meets the 99.9% reliability threshold that’s been dictated. It must also be able to send a presidential message within 10 minutes of being received. A June 2006 presidential order to the Department of Homeland Security set the EAS review in motion and it’s picked up steam in recent years beyond the first-ever national EAS test. “Natural disasters, including the large number of destructive tornadoes in the spring of 2011, have highlighted the need to develop new ways to alert people beyond the traditional broadcast media of radio and television,” FEMA says. “Together with legacy systems, these technologies can create a multi-channel, multi-media approach to keeping the public informed of imminent threats and all hazards.” Focusing on the what-ifs in today’s modern world that not only includes the threat of natural disasters but cyber-terrorism, the agency says the “disastrous impact” of having a system knocked off line on both the federal and state level would be “incalculable” consequences. One such idea now on the table is using cloud-based technology that would be harder to take offline all at once.
Bob Houghton, Georgia Association of Broadcsaters - April 12, 2013
My own decades-long experience in Georgia broadcasting has shown me time and again that whether it’s one of Atlanta’s occasional “snow jams” or our state’s spring storms and tornadoes, Georgians tune in to their free, over-the-air, radio and television stations to assess the situation and take life-saving steps to protect themselves. READ MORE
January 8, 2013
The devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy and the shooting in Newtown, Conn., are renewing a push by emergency responders to expand a low-power AM radio service used to give travelers traffic information. Read more
Supplemental Guidance on Public Alert and Warning
This document provides guidance on eligible public alert and warning activities and equipment standards for State, local, territory, and tribal prospective grantees. The intent of this document is to promote consistency in policy across Federal grant programs, and to ensure compatibility among Federally-funded projects. This document will continue to evolve as new technologies emerge, and will support increased knowledge on the use of these new technologies. Download the document.
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