The British Virgin Islands has implemented the first complete Alert FM system for emergency notification in the Caribbean Islands, according to Global Security Systems.
The system consists of GSS’ FM Radio Data System notifications originating from an Alert Studio portal and sent to 200 Alert FM portable receivers and 50 Alert FM wall receivers (for public buildings and schools) via four RDS encoders installed at local radio stations, including ZCNB(FM), ZCSS(FM) and ZKING(FM) as well as Alert FM iOS and Android apps.
The project was funded by a Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Loan from Caribbean Development Bank.
In 2017, the BVI were hit hard by Hurricanes Irma and Hurricane, prompting the BVI Department of Disaster Management to search for “a redundant emergency notification system that could remain viable even in the worst conditions including no power, no cellphone service and/ or no landline telephone service,” according to the press release.
“Because the islands are a prime target for tropical systems, including major hurricanes, we are always looking for ways to upgrade and improve our early warning system,” DDM Emergency Communication Manager Jason Penn was quoted as saying. He said the system is “a great addition to our existing network” and provides redundant contact paths to keep residents informed.
“It is our goal to expand Alert FM to all Caribbean territories and island nations in the near future,” GSS CEO Robert L. Adams stated in the announcement.
Aruba previously implemented the Alert FM mobile system but does not utilize the FM RDS system.