Emergency alert system (EAS) was designed by FCC to send out
important emergency informations. It was introduced in 1997 and is an
upgrade to the former Emergency Broadcast System which was intended to keep
American citizens warned of impeding Soviet nuclear attacks but in turn
became the most essential method of passing on information about natural
Formerly it was used just to pass information to the President who in turn
address the nation through several broadcast methods in the event of a
national emergency. Now this system is used to broadcast emergency
notification messages to thousands of households warning of natural
disasters. This system can also provide safety instructions and various
other informations to seek shelter.
Some of the upgrades from the old EBS systems include:
- Automatic Operation - The system can be set up to
work even at unattended broadcasting centers.
- Redundancy - The system monitors at least two
independent sources for emergency broadcasts.
- Less Intrusive - The system tests are shorter and
- Multilingual - The digital nature of the system can
convert emergency signals to any language.
Working of EAS
All registered broadcast stations have EAS hardware
installed. A central signal consisting of codes is sent out on the system.
The signal is then received by the system which is further re-transmitted to
all other broadcasters within a certain geographic area. These emergency
messages are broadcasted by the use of AM, FM, TV, cable and satellite.
Types of Emergency Alert System Calls
- Simple Warning Message - This is a basic emergency
alert call where the phone system dials from a list and plays one
standard message either to an individual or to an answering machine.
- Emergency Alert Message and Touchphone Responses - This
method gives the contacted individual options from which to select.
Using touchphone responses such as "Press 1 for...", various
choices give several informations.
- Emergency Alert Message and Call Transfer - This
method transfers the call to a third party phone number. Using
touchphone responses the contacted individual can request that the call
be transferred to another person or organization.
Benefits of Emergency Alert Systems
- Quickly broadcasting clear, concise warnings and alarms
- Providing high volume contacts and notifications
- Extending 24 by 7 hours of operation
- Automating routine calls
- Speeding response times to message recipients
- Expanding call capacity faster and at a lower cost
- Emergency Dialer providing multi-lingual support
- Perform non-emergency group contacts
- Reaching people in cars or buildings also