• Identifying potential pre-quake signals

    Changes in seismic velocity — changes in the speeds at which seismic waves move through the Earth’s crust — have been identified during and after many earthquakes; do these changes also happen before an earthquake, and could they be measured as a way to predict a quake on the way?

  • Smartphone app offers sex offender information

    Two of the providers of technology to local sheriffs’ offices have announced a new content publishing agreement that will offer the public information on sex offenders

  • NotiFind wins notification system award at DRI International 2012 Conference

    SunGard Availability Services’s crisis communication tool NotiFind was named Notification System of the Year by the DRI International Commission; the company says that the award shows industry recognition of the solution as a tested emergency and incident notification system

  • DHS helps diffuse Verizon emergency alert scare

    Thanks to social media, DHS was able to help quickly diffuse an alarming situation for residents in New Jersey

  • Local towns signing up for Twitter and Facebook for emergency comm.

    Following the lead of several other cities and federal agencies, the town of Wilton, Connecticut recently launched a Facebook page and Twitter account to help communicate with residents and share information during a disaster

  • Sprint customers first to receive wireless emergency alerts

    Thanks to Sprint, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will now be able to broadcast wireless emergency alerts to cell phones for the first time; the move allows FEMA, the president of the United States, the National Weather Service, or local and state emergency officials to broadcast warning messages and safety information through text messages

  • Glitches in nationwide emergency alert test

    Last Wednesday the United States conducted its first ever nationwide test of its emergency alert system, but based on reports the test did not go smoothly; instead of hearing the alert tone as the emergency alert title card was being displayed, some DirectTV subscribers were treated to Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi”

  • DHS to broadcast first ever nationwide EAS test

    Yesterday at 2 PM eastern standard time, the first ever nationwide Emergency Agency System (EAS) test took place, in an effort to help strengthen the effectiveness of the EAS as a means of notifying the American public of emergencies and potential dangers both regionally and nationally

  • Pakistan likely let China examine U.S. stealth helo

    U.S. intelligence officials believe that Pakistan’s intelligence service allowed Chinese military engineers to examine the wreckage of a new stealth helicopter used in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden; the helicopter was damaged in the assault on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan in May and Navy SEALs were forced to leave it behind

  • Classrooms cut off from emergency alert systems

    Classrooms were designed to be isolated cocoons that allow children to focus on learning away from distractions; while ideal for learning, these classrooms pose a significant problem for mass notification systems making it difficult for authorities to notify children, college students, and teachers during emergencies

  • Emergency alerts for cell phones

    Residents living near Austin, Texas can now receive important emergency notifications on their cell phones for free; with more and more individuals switching to cell phones and abandoning their land lines, emergency responders and government officials have been forced to adapt emergency warning systems to connect to cell phones instead

  • Smartphone apps help thousands in latest storms

    In the recent string of natural disasters to hit the Midwest, emergency communication smartphone apps have proven invaluable for contacting family members and first responders; during these natural disasters, telephone lines and cell phone towers are often inundated with traffic, leaving individuals unable to contact their loved ones or even reach 911; thanks to smartphone apps like Life360, individuals have been able to contact family members to let them know they are okay, or alert emergency workers if they are in trouble; during the floods that left Memphis, Tennessee under water, more than 2,400 families used the app to share their locations and confirm their safety

  • Early warning system helped save lives in Japanese quake

    Japan has spent millions of dollars to build a sophisticated early warning system for earthquakes and experts say that it helped save millions of lives and mitigated the damage from the 11 March earthquake and tsunami; while the massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami flattened much of northeastern Japan, the damage would have been far worse had Japan not had its early warning system in place; the system can provide anywhere from ten to thirty seconds of advance notice before an earthquake strikes giving Japan’s residents just enough time to slow down trains so they do not derail, shut off dangerous machinery, and send people to find cover

  • New York first in nation to deploy PLAN emergency alert system

    New Yorkers will be the first in the United States to have a new emergency alert notification system available to them; the program is called PLAN, for Personal Localized Alerting Network; PLAN is a new public safety system that allows customers who own an enabled mobile device to receive geographically targeted, text-like messages alerting them of imminent threats to safety in their area; users should expect several kinds of alerts: warnings directly from President Obama, messages about immediate safety threats, and Amber Alerts about missing kids

  • Emergency alert system now reaches cell phones

    The Federal Communications Commission is working with cell phone providers to expand its emergency alert system to include mobile phones; under the new program, dubbed the Personal Localized Alerting Network (PLAN), individuals will receive cell phone alerts from the government about emergencies occurring where they live; subscribers will receive alerts even when cell towers are jammed with traffic; the program will first be rolled out in New York City by the end of the year and officials expect to have nationwide coverage in 2012