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GSS: Alert FM Saved Lives During Alabama Tornadoes

Demoed today as part of ‘CES on the Hill’

Manufacturer Global Security Systems says its Alert FM system saved lives during the recent tornadoes in the south.

Its system uses RDS on FM subcarriers to deliver text alerts to electronic devices that have Alert FM software and a working FM radio chip.

In Alabama, the system is deployed in 18 counties, about a third of state. Cox Media Group’s Birmingham, Ala., stations transmitted Alert FM alerts.

GSS quoted David DuBose, vice president and market manager of that seven-station cluster, saying the messages saved lives. “Many people called our stations to say their power was off at their home due to the storms early on Wednesday morning before the killer tornados even touched down. They relied on our stations and the GSS Alert FM system for vital information.” The Alert FM system functioned without interruption during multiple tornado storm warnings, according to GSS, quoting Ken Gibson, emergency management director for Pickens County, Ala.

The deployment in Alabama was part of the Remote Community Alert Systems Program, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Weather Service effort to provide for outdoor alerting technologies in remote communities underserved by commercial mobile services.

GSS today is demonstrating its system in Washington as part of CES on the Hill, an event sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association.