NPR Labs To Test Emergency Alerts For Deaf, Hard-Of-Hearing
February 26, 2013 at 3:55 AM (PT)
The Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency have awarded a contract to NPR LABS for a pilot program of emergency alerts for the deaf or hard-of-hearing in the GULF COAST states. The alerts would be sent using public radio stations in the region via text message, demonstrating the ability to send such alerts to battery-powered radios in emergencies.
25 public radio stations in ALABAMA, FLORIDA, LOUISIANA, MISSISSIPPI and TEXAS will be selected to participate in the pilot, which will use the PUBLIC RADIO SATELLITE SYSTEM to distribute alerts using the Common Alerting Protocol and stations will relay the alerts over RBDS, which will show a flashing indicator on the radios or trigger a bed-shaker. 500 individuals will be included as volunteers to receive the test warnings.
"As we work to promote disaster preparedness and awareness, it is important we remember to equip every member of our communities," said Rep. STEVEN PALAZZO (R-MS). "This valuable partnership with MISSISSIPPI's local public radio stations promises to expand the reach of our disaster alert systems, and I can think of no better place to conduct this trial than the GULF COAST."
"NPR LABS has developed expertise in making radio broadcasts available and accessible to everyone," said NPR LABS Vice President and Executive Director MIKE STARLING. "We believe this system can be a life-saver for those unable to hear emergency alerts today."