FEMA Promotes Its Wireless Emergency Alert System


THE Federal Emergency Management Agency is releasing new public service advertising this week, created in conjunction with the Advertising Council, to educate Americans about its wireless emergency alert system.

Public service announcements explain the alerts, which are displayed on most wireless devices.

The system, which enables local, state and federal authorized government authorities to send emergency messages through wireless carriers’ networks, started two years ago, but has not been publicized through advertising.

The release of the campaign coincides with Hurricane Preparedness Week, which began on Sunday and runs through Saturday. The week, an annual effort coordinated by several government agencies, including FEMA, is intended to inform the public about hurricane hazards and steps to take to prepare for them. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.

Peggy Conlon, president and chief executive of the Ad Council, said it was “particularly timely and appropriate to launch the new advertising at the beginning of the hurricane season, and in light of the terrible tornadoes in the Midwest and wildfires in California.”

Wireless emergency alerts — issued for extreme weather like hurricanes, tornadoes or flash floods; Amber Alerts; or alerts from the president about catastrophic disasters — come as text messages that feature a special tone and vibration. No longer than 90 characters, the message discusses the type and time of the alert, action individuals should take, and the issuing agencies.

Over 100 wireless carriers offer the free alert service; no subscription is necessary. Alerts are broadcast from cell towers and warn everyone in range who has a device that is capable of receiving a wireless emergency alert. Many new cellphones and smartphones can transmit these messages.

The new advertising is in English and Spanish and was created by the Oakland, Calif., office of Free Range Studios, a graphic design and digital storytelling agency. It includes a 60-second television spot that features a montage of lifesaving objects like a life preserver, defibrillator and seat belt, and then shows a wireless device delivering a message and a family taking shelter after receiving a tornado alert. The voice-over says, “With a unique sound and vibration, you’ll be in the know, wherever you are,” and the Web site for the campaign, www.ready.gov/alerts, is flashed.

A 60-second radio ad contains sounds “in your day-to-day life,” like an alarm clock, a baby laughing, and a cheering crowd. After a voice-over states “there are some sounds that can alert you to danger, and can help save lives,” the sound of the wireless emergency alert is played. Then a description of how the alert works is given, and listeners are directed to the campaign’s Web site. Digital ads run similar messages and images from the TV spot.

“Many people do not realize that they carry a potentially life-saving tool with them in their pockets or purses every day,” said W. Craig Fugate, administrator of FEMA. He added that as hurricane season approaches, alerts that these devices can deliver could help people “take appropriate preparedness steps when facing potential man-made and natural disasters.”

The Department of Homeland Security and the Ad Council introduced the “Ready” campaign — whose latest messages are the emergency alert-related advertising — 10 years ago, after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The Ad Council began working with FEMA on the campaign in 2008, when administration of the emergency preparedness program was moved to FEMA, which is part of Homeland Security.

“Ready” advertising initially urged the public to prepare for emergencies with special kits and also promoted a preparedness Web site. President Obama mentioned the site, Ready.gov, in a speech in Asbury Park, N.J., on Tuesday at the reopening of New Jersey shore boardwalks in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. He urged people to educate themselves and prepare for a hurricane or other disaster by visiting the site. “Make a plan. It’s never too early,” he said.

The new ads focusing on the alert system are a “much simpler call to action” than previous advertising, Ms. Conlon of the Ad Council said, adding that their message is, “if you have a cellphone, you’ll always get an alert, you should pay attention.”

She said the “Ready” campaign so far had been run in $1 billion worth of donated time and space, which she said is “probably three times” the worth of time and space donated, on average, for all Ad Council campaigns.

Fonte: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/29/business/media/fema-promotes-its-wireless-emergency-alert-system.html?partner=MYWAY&ei=5065&_r=0

eVigilo to Deliver Chile’s Next Generation Emergency Alert System to Cellular Phones


eVigilo’s platform has been selected in an international tender to deliver Chile’s national earthquake and Tsunami cellular warning system based on cell broadcast technology.

Tel Aviv, Israel (PRWEB) April 19, 2011

eVigilo has been selected by the Chilean Sub-Secretary of Telecommunications during a tender process that has been proclaimed after the devastating earthquake in February 2010, that caused the death of more than 400 people.

The project’s first stage, that was initially budgeted by the Sub-Secretary of Telecommunications with US$ 5 Million, will send emergency alerts and notifications to the population across the three existing mobile operators, and two more mobile operators that will be activated in the future, over GSM and 3G infrastructure using the cell broadcast technology.

“This is a very important step to meet one of the commitments of the President (Sebastián Piñera) for emergency situations: to provide a mechanism for timely information that will help save lives before a natural disaster,” said Minister of Interior and Public Security, Rodrigo Hinzpeter

As one of the first tenders worldwide for the deployment of a cell broadcast based national emergency notification solution, the Chilean RFP has attracted large number of participants from Japan, China, Europe the United States and Israel.

eVigilo’s IADC (Integrated Alert Distribution Center) solution has been selected due to its technical-economical superiority.

eVigilo IADC will send emergency alerts and notifications triggered automatically through sensor input (machine2machine notification) and through manual creation by Chile’s Emergency Management Authority (ONEMI), sending messages to the population according to its geographic location.

Minister of Transport and Telecommunications, Pedro Pablo Errazuriz, noted that “the operation task this year is to have an automatic communication system that enables to inform people in time.”

eVigilo IADC enables the sending of messages simultaneously across different means of communication such as mobile networks, sirens, pagers, radio, IP and TV.

Sub-Secretary of Telecommunication Jorge Atton, stated that “this mass alert system that will work by December 2011 across compatible phones, might be used in 2nd phase over digital television that is going to be introduced gradually across the country.”

Same as in Chile, eVigilo’s IADC solution has been selected to provide earthquake and tsunami notifications also in Israel, positioning it worldwide as one of the leading mass alert solution providers in its field.

eVigilo CEO Guy Weiss has said: “Chile’s concern for the safety and security of its citizens is very high. We are thrilled and honored to have been selected to stand up to those requirements and to deliver the first cell broadcast based national emergency notification platform that will be operated in the Americas.”

About eVigilo
eVigilo develops the industry’s only fully integrated, multi-technology mass alert platform that can reach millions of people in just seconds – to enhance safety and security and save lives in emergency situations. Supporting multi-channel alert notification and communication, the holistic, flexible Integrated Alert Distribution Center (IADC) Platform is the most effective and efficient turnkey solution for mass alert systems used by governments, homeland security and rescue forces, educational institutions, energy companies, industry and public utilities. eVigilo is managed by its founders and backed by a high caliber, experienced team of security and software professionals. For more information, visit us at: http://www.evigilo.net

# # #

Feliks Vainik
eVigilo
1(415) 992-7068

EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM – Cell Broadcast Emergency Alert System


Cell Broadcast Emergency Alert System

Administered by FEMA, the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) will transform national emergency alerts from an audio-only notification into a system that can reliably and efficiently send alerts by voice, text, or video to all Americans, including those with disabilities or who cannot understand English.

The IPAWS addresses the mandate and vision of Executive Order 13407 to ensure that the President can rapidly and effectively address and warn the public over a broad range of communications devices and under any emergency condition. Click here to download your set-up instructions.

What is cell broadcast?

Cell Broadcast is a free service to active Einstein Wireless customers that sends a notice about emergencies and disaster information to all registered cell phones in an area that is in danger. This area can be a few blocks or the entire state.

How do I receive the alert?

The message displays emergency information on your phone, much like a text message, and may have a special ring tone, depending on your handset. A special symbol will assure you that the message is from authorized emergency officials. Click here to download your set-up instructions.

How does the alert find me?

The emergency message is broadcast from cell towers in an affected area. If your phone is in the area, it will receive an emergency message. If you are in the “at-risk” area, you will not receive the warning message.

What do I do if I receive the alert?

Follow the instructions indicated in the message.

If I am traveling and receive an alert, will my family at home receive the alert on their phones?
Only if their phones are in the affected area. The technology does not “dial” your phone number. It “broadcasts” to all the phones in a designated area, much like a radio signal.

What do I need to do?

You must set-up your phone to receive alerts. Simple instructions are included…Click here to download your set-up instructions.

Cell Broadcast : A Life saving Utility


When a freight train derailment near Minot, North Dakota, in 2002 spilled anhydrous ammonia and sent up a cloud of poison gas, a public warning over radio was not broadcast for nearly 90 minutes. The designated emergency announcement station’s single employee on duty could not be reached because phone lines were jammed by residents calling in. Authorities tried activating the radio’s Emergency Alert System, but the EAS failed. What if Minot citizens could have received an emergency message on their cell phones warning them of this toxic danger and appropriate directives to safety.

When residents of coastal Texas were ordered to evacuate their homes as Hurricane Rita barreled up the Gulf of Mexico in 2005, they had nowhere to go. Escape routes were clogged for days as millions of Houston-area residents, 50 miles farther from danger, fled the storm when they heard the broadcast EAS, rather than waiting for appropriate notification after the citizens in greater danger were safely evacuated. What if coastal residents could have received on their cell phones an early evacuation notice targeted just to them? What if all evacuees could have been notified of alternative traffic routes and available fuel locations while they were en route to safety.

Modern communications comes in many forms, all of which should be utilized in disaster management as part of an overall emergency alert plan for citizens. This report focuses on cell broadcast technology and how it fits the purpose in alerting the public.

Functionality of Cell Broadcasting
Cell broadcast is an integrated open system that allows emergency officials one-touch notification to cell phones with guarantee of covering all carriers. Cell broadcast technology enables a government entity to securely transmit an emergency alert of natural or manmade disasters to cell phones in an affected area within two minutes, regardless of the size of the area and regardless of the subscriber’s carrier.

The cell broadcast alert causes the cell phone to sound a ring and to display a warning message on the screen. The message is relayed with greater efficiency than a two-way call or a SMS text message without overloading the network, as frequently occurs in disasters when thousands of concerned citizens and emergency managers are attempting to place cell phone calls. Cell broadcast is a more advanced technology than SMS text messaging.

Cell broadcast is already resident in most network infrastructure and in most phones, so there is no need to build any towers, lay any cable, write any software, or replace terminals. Once the wireless carriers have agreed to support cell broadcast, all that is required is then the subscribers activate the functionality, opting in to the alert notification service.

Cell broadcast is not affected by traffic load. Therefore it will operate during a disaster, when load spikes tend to crash networks. Also it creates no significant load of its own, so it would not add to the problem.

Cell broadcast is geo-scalable. A message can reach hundreds of millions of people, even across continents, within a matter of minutes.

Cell broadcast is geo-specific. Messages can be directed at only those citizens in an area requiring notification. For example, government disaster managers can avoid panic and road jamming by notifying priority neighborhoods of an emergency evacuation while reassuring unaffected neighborhoods that they are safer to stay in their homes, reducing gridlock.

Cell broadcast is working successfully in Asia, Europe and the Mediterranean region. The United Nations, its International Telecommunications Union, and other international governing bodies are already developing global harmonization standards for emergency cell broadcast warnings. The World Health Organization is planning to use it for pandemic alerts. It is imperative that the all the countries are immediately trying to implement this latest, most advanced technology to keep pace with these global communications initiatives.

CELL BROADCASTKEY ADVANTAGES

* Cell broadcast exists today. It’s currently operable worldwide..
* Cell broadcast will work in disasters and will not cause network congestion or
* Overload. Emergency alerts are transmitted on a dedicated channel that is independent of Normal usage.
* Cell broadcast is Geo-specific and Geo-scalable. Cell broadcasting is a tool to reach any Individual cell or to create any size of groups of cell for a message. It can coordinate a Layered evacuation.
* Cell broadcast is authenticated. Cell broadcast is protected from spammers, spoofers or cyber terrorists.
* Cell broadcast reaches 100% of at-risk population with cell phones. Emergency alert will reach anyone with a cell phone regardless of subscriber or location of subscription.
* Channels can be designated for first responders. This can reduce emergency response
* Time and increase coordination of first responders.
* Cell broadcast allows 64,000 channels of information with transmission in several languages simultaneously

NetXcell’s Contribution to Cell Broadcast:

NetXcell Cell Broadcast Center (hereinafter referred to as NetXcell CBC) is designed for creation and simultaneous delivery of the so called Cell Broadcast messages (CB messages) to multiple users of mobile networks. CB messages can be broadcast across the entire network coverage area or within specific segments (cells). The system can function both in GSM and UMTS.

Netxcell CBC will improve the operator’s bottom-line by creating additional revenue flows from the advertisers who will use cell broadcast channels for better exposure. The message broadcast center will enable fast delivery of useful information to a huge number of subscribers, boosting their loyalty.

Cell broadcast technology is strong, viable and immediate communication solution, Which can be put in place to make citizens alerts better. Cell broadcast provide relief to the wireless services in emergency situations. The industry and regulators must work together to find mutual benefits. The good part is the technology of cell Broadcast works very well today. It can save many lives.