There is such as system in place in Okaloosa County, Florida. The system has the capacity for calling up to 1000 phones per minute with a pre-recorded message, the phone numbers being selected by geographic area. The downside is the local phone company (Embarq) will have a system crash if the EM computer makes that many calls per minute on the phone system. So they have to slow it down.
The local emergency management people strongly advise that the citizens of the county own and use NOAA weather radio. Apparently many residents of Central Florida got warning from their NOAA weather radios before the storms hit, and a greater loss of life was avoided.
For obvious reasons, Floridians tend to be better prepared for weather emergencies than many other Americans.
On Feb 2, 2007, at 9:39 AM, Alan Steremberg wrote:
I think we need to make a desktop of flash widget that we can trigger with an alert and start the audio playing. I also spoke to the sonos people about integrating it into their system, but they didn't really understand the emergency aspect yet. ie: why people would want their radio to automatically switch from pretty music to weather radio.
On 2/2/07, Mark Wyman <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:-- Alan SterembergWeather Underground415-543-5022 x 103http://www.wunderground.com
I always wondered about having telephones linked into the Emergency network, so your phone would emit a specialized ring during local emergencies like this. It would be driven by law from the telephone company, who could target just the areas of concern. Since these days everyone has a phone, and not many have weather radios, it would be an ideal solution. Of course they would probably tack on another $2 a month for this service.
From: wuhu_software_group@yahoogroup s.com[mailto:wuhu_software_group@yahoogroup s.com] On Behalf Of wuhu_software
Sent: Friday, February 02, 2007 8:35 AM
Subject: [wuhu_software_group] Tornados sweep through central Florida in the middle of the night.
I was just watching the news this morning about the tornados that swept
through central Florida. The current estimate is that at least one was
an F2 tornado. I guess 1988 was the last time one swept through the
area in the middle of the night (so the news says).
Looks like a real mess over by New Smyrna (one of my favorite spots in
Flordia, been there many times visting family).
On the news, they discussed the real need for weather radios to wake
people up in the middle of the night. Especially in Florida.
Interestingly, the two Orlando WU audio streams are up and running. I
am not sure if they were up when the alerts went out, but I am guessing
that they were.
It sure would be nice to have the WU SAME radios on the desktop.
Even if the audio streams do go down, the virtual radio could still get
a users attention by playing alert sounds, alert text, or even
activating alert devices (say X10 devices).