First Alert introduces a new way to keep families safe with the world's first Public Alert Radio.

Share Article

Endorsed yesterday by DHS as the nation's early warning network, NOAA Weather Radio has been expanded to include warnings for civil emergencies. Now manufacturers such as First Alert, RCA and Radio Shack are certified to make new Public Alert devices that automatically respond to 79 civil and severe weather warnings. It is time to raise public awareness of this radio network so that people across the country can be prepared.

It is time we begin to close the gap in public notification

First Alert® introduces the world's first Public AlertTM Radio - A new way to keep families safe in times of trouble.

The ability to warn the public in times of crisis remains a weak link in emergency preparedness plans across America. For every heart-warming story of survival, there is a tale of loss that hurts.

Yes, an early warning helped fifty kids survive a direct hit by a tornado on a movie theater in Van Wert, Ohio, but twenty people at the UMC Goshen church in northern Alabama didn’t get a warning. One lucky kidnapped child in Utah was found alive, but another one in Texas never came home. As this Presidential election unfolds in time of war, experts continue to warn us about security threats and potential terror attacks. These are the realities of our times and the challenges that our communities face daily. Today, however, there is good news.

Introducing Public AlertTM

Today, the Department of Homeland Security endorsed the NOAA Weather Radio network as our nation’s emergency warning system. In conjunction, Sima Products Corporation - maker of First Alert® brand radios - is proud to introduce the world’s first Public AlertTM radio – Model WX-167. This new radio meets the government’s newly approved Public AlertTM technical specification for advanced emergency alerting devices. It is built to a higher standard to serve a greater purpose.

The NOAA radio network can reach over 95% of the U.S. population, from Alaska to Puerto Rico. The First Alert® Model WX-167 is the first of a new breed of "smart receivers" that uses this network to solve the problem of delivering warnings reliably to Americans at risk. The WX-167 monitors the NWR broadcast day and night, automatically alerting to 79 civil and severe weather messages. First Alert® brand Public AlertTM radios will alert Americans to trouble in their communities.

Sima, one of three companies in the world currently certified to build Public AlertTM radios, is leading the way to bring an affordable unit with a life-saving function to the marketplace.

"It is time we begin to close the gap in public notification," said Sima's president, Ilana Diamond. "Early warnings allow people to take actions that save lives and reduce damage. Thanks to the cooperation between the Department of Homeland Security and NOAA, people will now learn how important a Public AlertTM radio can be in times of emergency. These radios should be in every school, daycare center, nursing home, hospital and bedroom in America."

NOAA Weather Radio updated

Local governments have little ability to warn their community of impending trouble. For over 30 years, NOAA has built an extensive system of trained spotters, sensors and satellites to relay broadcast warnings about severe weather conditions over a network of 900 dedicated transmission towers. However, this system could not alert the public to non-weather emergencies.

The Public AlertTM standard has expanded the warning capabilities to include civil emergency messages such as terrorist attacks, nuclear plant problems, industrial fires, chemical spills, biological hazards, even kidnapped children (AMBER Alerts).

A joint private/public alliance between NOAA, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and interested manufacturers successfully completed a new technical specification this year, called Public AlertTM, to define and improve the performance of emergency alerting devices for the NOAA system. A Public Alert radio responds to the full capabilities of the network, enabling the user to be alerted in the middle of the night, even during power failures. The radio can alert by a loud siren, flashing lights, multi-lingual text and voice messages, and accessories for the handicapped such as pillow vibrators and strobe lights.

Today's announcement signals the next step in the evolution of the all-hazards radio warning system that our country needs now and in the future. But there remains one hurdle yet to cross.

Finishing the Job

While the NOAA network can reach 9 out of 10 people, only 1 out of 10 has a radio capable of receiving the message. Standard AM/FM radios cannot pick up Public AlertTM warnings. Many of our citizens are not aware that this system is in place to protect their community. For Americans to be prepared, it is not enough for the government to build the system, for manufacturers to build radios or for retailers to put them on the shelves. For the system to work, the public must be made aware of it. There has to be a conscientious effort to raise public awareness. It is the media's responsibility to build this awareness.

It is time to do your part. Tell your readers and listeners about this advancement in public notification and about the new Public Alert standard. There is a new way to keep American families safe and your audience should be the First To Know. To learn more about Public AlertTM and First Alert® brand radios, contact the sources below for more information.

Sima Products Corporation/ First Alert® Radios

Ilana Diamond

President

Ph: 800-345-7462 x 1202

ilanad@simacorp.com

Dave Hochendoner

Director of Product Planning and Engineering

Ph: 800-345-7462 x1206

daveh@simacorp.com

Storm Orion

Project Manager

Ph. 800-345-7462 x 1214

Email: stormo@simacorp.com

Tim Means

Product Line Manager

Ph: 800-345-7462 x1217

timm@simacorp.com

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Bob Gillespie

Acting Manager NOAA Weather Radio

(202) 737-9007 x140

Ken Putkovich

Former Acting Manager NOAA Weather Radio

301-713-0026

George Wilcox

Ph: (202) 737-9007 x427

Email: George.T.Wilcox@noaa.gov

Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)

Nathan Ridnouer

Senior Manager, Accessories/Wireless Communications Divisions

Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)

Ph: 703.907.7052

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print