Alabama Storm Warnings Use Alert FM for Signaling

May 10, 2011

Tuscaloosa, AL - May 9, 2011 - Alert FM, the system that uses FM radio stations to deliver emergency alert text messages, is cited as helping to save lives during the devastating tornados that ripped across the South last month.

In Alabama, the Alert FM system is deployed in 18 counties across one-third of the state. Alert FM uses Radio Broadcast Data Service (RBDS) subcarriers to deliver text alerts up to 240-characters to any electronic device with Alert FM software and an enabled FM radio receiver chip.

David DuBose, vice president and market manager for Cox Media Group's Birmingham radio stations -- a seven-station cluster that relayed Alert FM messages -- stated, "I know we saved a lot of folks because we saw the posts on our Facebook page. 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."

Pickens County, Alabama, Emergency Management Director Ken Gibson confirmed that the Alert FM system functioned well during the multiple tornado storm warnings and without interruption.

"This is exactly why the American public needs and deserves FM chip integration in their electronic devices, including mobile phones," noted Sharon Tinsley, president of the Alabama Broadcasters Association.

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

Receive regular news and technology updates. Sign up for our free newsletter here.