A new Alert FM emergency notification system from Global Security Systems has been installed by California’s Shasta County.
“Shasta County with its geography is susceptible to fast-moving wildfires like the 2018 Carr Fire, California’s ninth most destructive fire on record. Alert FM currently provides tornado, hurricane, fire and other life-saving alerts across the United States,” the company said.
The text-based system sends encrypted polygon and group-based alerts to residents, schools, hospitals, commercial and industrial facilities. “These alerts will help save lives and reduce injuries by giving people time to take protective action by following instructions such as evacuating their homes or businesses, especially during the night when mobile phones, TV and other electronic devices are turned off,” GSS said in a press release.
Sheriff Michael Johnson was quoted saying the system lets authorities reach more people who may have limited internet and phone connectivity, and also provides a layer of alerting redundancy.
[Related: “FCC Pushes to Reimagine Emergency Alerting”]
The system uses zone/polygon data from emergency officials and is built around leased FM broadcasting infrastructure. “This platform provides multiple redundant backup FM radio transmitters connected by satellite to provide a secure transmission of a single point-to-multipoint messaging path, layered by ‘need to know’ groupings without the nodal vulnerability of other communication systems,” GSS said.
The FM partners include Stephens Media Group, Results Radio Broadcasting, Educational Media Foundation and Relevant Radio Broadcasters.
GSS released a video about the Shasta County project.