American Association of Information Radio Operators AAIRO

AAIRO American Association of Information Radio Operators
  a sampling of how members' use travelers information stations  
 
     
National Lab Threatened by Flames; Evacuees Updated Real-Time by Information Radio Station
LOS ALAMOS, NM:  Residents and workers fleeing the flames near Los Alamos National Laboratory listened to AM 1610 to receive special directions and fire updates. With only two roads leading in and out of the area, motorists have few evacuation options. The special radio service was initiated in 2007 by Los Alamos County’s Office of Emergency Management, with the knowledge that some day it would be called on to protect lives and property.

Says Emergency Manager Phil Taylor, "Our community’s experience with the Cerro Grande fire of 2000 and the recent Las Conchas fire prompts frequent calls to 911 asking if they need to evacuate for even the slightest hint of smoke in the air."

Dual Information Radio Stations in Los Alamos and White Rock not only provide motorists details about wildfires but also traffic accidents causing road blockages, road construction and emergency drills at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Two transmitting facilities cover the population in the area, each covering 25-75 square miles.

"Shortly after the OEM was activated, I put out an announcement containing situation analyses and for folks with respiratory sensitivities to consider voluntary evacuation. The second day, I used 1610 a LOT along with our reverse 911 to do the actual evacuation of the town site. I had to do it in four stages, and later on, a final 'you MUST get out NOW..." message. ...I must've changed messages at least three times each day, with just station ID and situational awareness messages running on the active playlist (no weather). I'm now broadcasting at least one fire-related message, road closure info and weather loop.

"About the only improvement I can think of right now [that we could make] would be ... to stream 1610, since most folks have computers, and even if they're evacuated out of the coverage range, they could still listen."

Background about Los Alamos' Setup

Dual Information Radio stations were set up by EOC personnel in 2007. Taylor describes the rationale thusly, "Our fundamental emergency public information requirements probably don’t differ substantially from those of any other jurisdictions. Primarily, we’re interested in a methodology that will allow us to expeditiously communicate emergent information to as many people as possible within our jurisdictional boundaries. We have the following constraints/challenges:

* Small, isolated, mountain community – two roads leading in/out – deep canyons and high mesas.
* Limited commercial radio/TV coverage.
* Large daytime transient population/commuters who work at a National Laboratory.

"Possible emergency scenarios include . . .

* Severe weather events with corresponding school/Laboratory closures.
* Traffic accidents that interrupt normal commutes.
* Evacuation/shelter-in-place instructions.
* Any emergency public warning/information that needs to be disseminated RIGHT NOW.

"We used these creative methods to make citizens aware of the station:

* Press release (he got the local press to do an article right after the station went 'live').
* Bill-stuffer in utility bills.
* Laboratory incorporation of the press release in their internal newsletter.
* Mention of the station by EOC personnel at every speaking opportunity.
* The schools send info home with the kids.
* Refrigerator magnets, pens and pencils to hand out at fairs, booths.
* Descriptive blurb with EOC email signatures."

Philmont Taylor
AAIRO Member
Office of Emergency Management
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Colorado Police Department Employs Twin Information Stations
VAIL, CO:  The Town of Vail'S broadcasts are controlled from a computer workstation.

The stations are strategically positioned to cover local streets and the I-70 corridor, as it travels through the well-known resort community.

The programming is managed by computer and is distributed to the stations across the city’s fiber optic system.

Vail Public Safety Communications Center Interim Director Jennifer Kirkland praises the Information Station: “The system is extremely beneficial to our guests and citizens, as it provides up-to-date, recorded information that is useful and valuable."

Courtesy of Jennifer Kirkland
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North Plainfield - Emergency & Health Officials Speak to Motorists in a 25-75 Square-Mile Area
NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ:  North Plainfield Borough in Somerset County has an information radio station that Borough emergency and health officials use to speak directly to motorists in a 25-75 square mile coverage area. Signs tell motorists what radio channel to tune to. Says borough clerk Rich Phoenix ...

"During the wave of H1N1 inoculation and immunization programs, President Obama declared that TIS stations could be utilized to help inform the public as to when and where H1N1 clinics would operate in local communities. We carried the announcements, here, in North Plainfield, and the TIS station was highly effective in drawing a good response of residents wishing to be immunized. We were very fortunate to have a highly responsive Somerset County and State of New Jersey effort to support our clinics and, once again, via the President, we were authorized to broadcast the advisory.

"In the history of our TIS, we have also broadcast advisories of upcoming street fairs, parades, processions and fireworks displays. As disparate as they may seem in relation to typical TIS information, each clearly qualifies as viable traffic information, since key Borough streets are shut down for each event – even the fireworks. We are a tight-knit compact community, and 4th of July fireworks are displayed very near some of our thoroughfares, which must be barricaded for the duration.

"...We are very fortunate on 1630 kHz. regarding our nighttime coverage, as there is no commercial station giving us co-channel skywave or adjacent channel splatter.... Although the Commission has not seen fit to provide the TIS service much protection, the proof is clear that TIS provides a valuable, sometimes lifesaving service to residents and motorists and – at the very least – deserves some respect."

Rich Phoenix, RMC
Borough Clerk & Chief Operator of WPQJ970 1630 AM Radio
New Jersey Radio Museum President
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DHS' Customs & Border Protection Deploys First National Information Radio Network
WASHINGTON, DC:  US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can motorists entering the USA exactly what they need to know, for example:

* Is the crossing open?
* How long is the wait?
* Which lane should I be in?
* What documents do I need?

Because the CBP is installing a special information radio station, referred to as a Travelers Information Station/Highway Advisory Radio (TIS/HAR) system, at key land border ports of entry, providing information to approaching motorists with the intention of expediting their passage across the border.

The federally licensed 10-watt AM radio stations are currently installed in El Paso, Laredo, TX; San Luis, AZ; and Calexico (East), CA. Additional sites are planned on the southwest border and locations on the US/Canadian border are also being considered.

The stations provide the capability of broadcasting time-sensitive messages developed at the local ports of entry, in addition to messages developed at the national level by CBP Headquarters.

Project manager Daniel Piscopo states that the broadcast messages will include “how to use high-tech travel cards, information about CBP's Trusted Traveler Programs, basic border crossing rules and regulations, emergency travel information and
updates, and border wait times.”

Results of a pilot survey conducted by CBP at El Paso, Texas, indicate that there is considerable awareness and favorability regarding use of the radio stations, and agreement that they would be especially valuable as a tool to gauge wait times.

CBP will be able to communicate directly to travelers about how to expedite their border crossing, for example, by broadcasting information about CBP programs such as the Ready Lane — an expedited travel lane for people with radio frequency identification technology enabled cards -- and Trusted Traveler lanes for pre-approved, low-risk travelers.

Radio broadcasts can be heard for several miles around the port, giving CBP the ability to provide necessary information to travelers as they approach the border. Perhaps someday it will be common practice for motorists to reach for their radios as they reach the US. 

CBP press release, Feb 2012
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Voices on the Mountain; Mount Rainier First National Park to Add Networked Information Stations
ASHFORD, WA:  ASHFORD, WA: It’s not news when a National Park boasts multiple Information Radio Stations (TIS) that deliver special messages to visitors in multiple locations. It is news, however, when the broadcast messages on the radio stations are seamlessly managed across a network.

Mount Rainer National Park, located in western Washington State, is in the process of installing such a system, intended to inform and advise visitors at five locations – including the Park’s three main entrances. See other examples of interpretive use at this link.

The system will leverage the network backbone already in place among various Park facilities. NPS will utilize “Uploader” software just released by Information Station Specialists to manage audio-file distribution from a library at Park Headquarters to the radio stations. "Uploader" allows a program-loop of multiple files to be sent to each of the five stations in one action, saving staff considerable time.

Costs are lower, and audio quality is increased due to the elimination of telephone lines used to manage existing Park radio stations.

One of the Park's Main Entrances

Three of the five networked locations (Ashford, Nisqually and Paradise) currently have Information Radio Stations. Two new networked stations will be brought online at Ohanapecosh and White River.

Mount Rainier National Park was an early adopter of Information Station technology in the 1980s.

National Parks that have used Information Station technology and how they have used it.
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Monmouth Beach, New Jersey's, Emergency Advisory Radio Station
MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ:  Dec. 2012, for a letter to FCC Chairman Genachowski for AAIRO's Petition to update FCC Rules.
"My name is Drew Winans. [I am] the present Chief of Police of the Monmouth Beach Police Department. In reference to our information radio station purchased 10 years ago or more? I have been involved with the radio station since its installation when it was installed by them Chief Patrick McConville. ... Here’s a brief synopsis of how the radio station was 'an Invaluable' tool not only for the residents of Monmouth Beach but nearby towns within listing distance.

"In the days leading up to 'Sandy,' the Monmouth Beach Office of Emergency Management had many vehicles to inform the residents of Monmouth Beach, [e.g.,} the 'Code Red' system that sent recorded messages to all subscribers via phone, text and email. These messages were updated as needed. Each time these messages were sent out, the same message was recorded and being transmitted on our radio station (WPMG676 1640am). I knew that not many people were listening. Why would they? Email….. Text…. House Phone…. Cell Phone…. Smart phone…. The night Sandy arrived in full force the storm surge started surrounding our headquarters and separate annex building that houses the controls of our radio station we had to abandon our HQ and head for higher ground which was Borough Hall. I was continually updating information on the radio station remotely using my cell phone, until the phone lines went down and I wasn’t able to access the radio station to update information. In the early morning hours the next day and the days following when code red messages were being sent out, many of the subscribers were not getting the messages. Cell phone service was out, people's phones were dead since they had no power to charge them or some carriers just weren’t working properly. But!!! We were able to continually update information on the radio station with the same information being sent out with our code red system. But I wondered are the people listening? During these days and weeks following the storm I came in contact with numerous people who thanked us for keeping them informed through the radio station. The older technology that most were not custom to, was the one thing that held true. In talking to people they felt so disconnected from what was going on. But having the radio station they had some idea what was going on and receiving important recovery information. Sea Bright is a town just north of us and shares our border. Severely devastated by Sandy. I had the opportunity to speak to residents of that town who live on the border and were continually tuned into our information broadcasts. They couldn’t thank us enough with the information being transmitted. Bottom line………. Old School won out when it was needed most."

Drew Winans
Police Chief
Monmouth Beach Borough, New Jersey
Monmouth County Emergency Management Radio System webpage.
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Manasquan Borough, New Jersey's, Emergency Advisory Radio Station
MANASQUAN, NJ:  Nov. 2012, as documented in a letter to FCC Chairman Genachowski for Petition Docket 09-19.

"I want to express to you in the strongest way how vital the Information Radio Station (TIS) is to our community.

"Manasquan is a coastal community just north of where Hurricane Sandy made landfall, meaning that we took maximum storm surge and wind damage from the event. We knew that telephones, internet and even commercial radio stations might not operate throughout the storm so we informed local resident that the Radio Station we operate on AM 1620 would be the single disseminator of information during and in the immediate aftermath.

"As predicted, we lost all services, including, of course, electrical power. yet the radio station continued to operate and information continuously throughout.

"Due to our large battery back[up], the station had continuous power and never went off the air. Battery-operated radios could receive it, despite the loss of electrical power in homes. The antenna is installed on a hurricane-wind rated "Vertical Profile" antenna support which handled the 90 mph winds and 3 feet of flooding without incident.

"There is no telling how many lives and how much property was saved due to this resource which our town thankfully has. Therefore, I must encourage you, to make sure that when new rules for the TIS service are finalized they make accommodation for the critical importance that the TIS service has taken on for communities like ours in disasters such as this.

"Please re-craft the content rules to specifically state that weather forecasts, warnings, NOAA rebroadcasts and emergency preparedness information can be broadcast at any time - before, during and after a disaster - as a means of mitigating loss of life and damage to property. As your agency debates the future of the AM radio band, please consider how important those humble 10 watt Information Radio Stations have become to communities like ours...and how the small investment we made some years ago, has saved us time, money, and property and lives by a factor unknown, and will again when the next disaster occurs."

David W. Kircher, Coordinator
Office of Emergency Management
Christopher B. Tucker, Deputy Coordinat
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North Tahoe, California's, Emergency Advisory Radio Station
NORTH TAHOE, CA:  Jan 2013, as documented in a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski for Petition Docket 09-19.

"The North Tahoe Fire Protection District services 31 square miles on the northwest shore of Lake Tahoe, California; an area subject to forest fires, floods, avalanches, snow events, and back-country emergencies. Serving mountain communities in the Sierra Nevada 's provides additional egress challenges associated with small mountain roads and population that double during peak tourist seasons.

"In the summer of 2007, we experienced two large fires that presented life safety challenges to our responders. The most immediate danger was that of a local, fast spreading, wind-whipped wild-land interface fire burning through a residential neighborhood. Secondarily, evacuees gridlocked several communities as they attempted to escape the fire through a single means of egress, both impeding emergency vehicles and endangering citizens lives. The "After Action" report identified a need to disseminate real time, information to both our local citizens and visiting public.

"In response, the District acquired three portable AM transmitters, hired a Public Information Officer, and formed a Citizen's Emergency Information Team to deploy the transmitters in urgent and emergent circumstance.

"As an example, last year all 'Red Flag' fire watch days were announced through these emergency broadcasts and a new public awareness of fire weather was established. Later in the year, our portable AM broadcast transmitters were utilized to prepare the public for the dangers of an approaching early season winter storm, that brought heavy precipitation, compromised structures, caused avalanches and power outages.

"The Public Information Officer has continued to educate our citizens of the importance of committing our AM frequency to their memory. The District has proved these portable AM transmitters as a reliable and now essential tool for communicating with our communities. The District believes that any limitation on our ability to utilize these transmitters will jeopardize public safety within our communities. Please consider the dangers to public safety as you review Docket 09-19.

"Respectfully,
"Michael Schwartz, Fire Chief"
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Information Stations for California Wildfire Evacuations
SANTA BARBARA, CA, Nov 2012: Two significant wildfires in three weeks near Santa Barbara, California, have tested the area’s Information Radio Stations’ ability to direct the public quickly out of harm’s way.

On October 17th, a vegetation fire caused by downed power lines required the evacuation of Painted Cave, CA – a community that lost more than 400 homes and public buildings in a devastating fire in 1990. The nearby San Marcos Pass Information Station on AM 1040, operated by Mike Williams, broadcast critical fire and evacuation information continuously for residents as they lined up on Highway 154 to exit. In the end, all lives and structures were saved and the fire was contained to 44 acres.

Three weeks later, a similar fire in Montecito, California's, backcountry triggered emergency evacuation information to be broadcast on Montecito Fire Protection District’s Information Station on AM 1610. The San Marcos Pass station carried the evacuation information, as well. Fortunately, this fire was contained by late afternoon and residents returned to intact homes.

States Williams, “The use of low power radio in emergency situations proves invaluable. The ability to provide quick information to the public is essential during fast moving events such as wildfires.”

See a San Marcos pass Emergency Radio System overview.

Listen to the “Community Alert” talk show for an overview & history of info radio stations.
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Streaming Success: Information Radio Stations Increasingly Simulcast on Internet
NORTH WILDWOOD, NJ, 2012: North Wildwood, New Jersey, have recently made their Information Station programming available on the Web. And Fort Bend County, Texas, will soon bring online an internet stream of their 1670 signal.

At the oceanfront community of North Wildwood, New Jersey, Police Chief Robert Matteucci comments, “Streaming allows people who live out of reach of the radio station to listen…at home or on handheld options. We feel that during a storm, people in fringe areas will have a clearer message over the computer than over the air. Additionally, [out-of-town] family members can check local conditions.”

Robert Bracken, the Information Station operator at Missouri City, also makes their 1690 AM signal accessible during emergencies on the municipal cable TV outlet.

Bracken states, “We are heavily promoting it through news releases, our TV channel and our homeowner association outreach.”

See how these 3 communities present the streaming opportunity on their websites:

1.  North Wildwood, NJ.
2.  Missouri City, TX.
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Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government
LEXINGTON, KY, March 2011:  Lexington/Fayette County Urban County Government provides services to a population of approximately 300,000 persons (not including transient student and medical patient populations) over an area of 286 square miles. There are more than 1,100 lane miles of highways in the county, including portions of Interstate 75 and Interstate 64, US highways 25, 27, 60, 68, 421 and state highway 4 (New Circle Road) which runs a loop around the county approximately 6 miles from the center of the downtown area. Additionally, Man O’ War Boulevard extends a half-loop through the southern edge of the county.

Lexington/Fayette County is home to three major colleges and universities, several large regional shopping centers, six hospital complexes, including two Veterans Administration facilities and local, federal and state prisons. Lexington is also home to two horse racing facilities, a regional airport and dozens of small, medium and large manufacturing and professional service businesses.

It is important to note that I-75 and I-64 merge in Fayette County. These interstate highways provide a major north-south and east-west passenger car and semi-trailer truck route through the United States. On an average day, more than 90,000 vehicles travel these interstate highways.

It is also of importance that while not necessarily in Fayette County, several military installations of importance exist within 10 miles of the county border. The most significant installation is the Bluegrass Army Depot, the location of the largest stockpile of chemical weapons still remaining in the United States. Lexington/Fayette County is a designated host community which means that it will serve as a medical service provider and evacuation site should there be an accident at the depot involving the chemical weapons. Other facilities provide logistics, repair, re-supply and transportation responsibilities. All facilities provide support for worldwide peacekeeping, intelligence and training missions.

The current TIS system is used to provide life safety information to the public in case of emergency and other information within the current administrative definitions. Given the nature of the traffic flows, the population, fast-changing weather conditions and the nature of military installations in nearby counties, it is vital that the Lexington-Fayette County Division of Emergency Management have the means and capabilities of communicating to the motoring public.

These messages are intended not only to communicate emergency response information that is in direct response to an accident, incident or natural disaster but also to communicate awareness and preparedness messages to the motoring public that travels through the county.

It is critical that the Division of Emergency Management be able to broadcast important life safety and preparedness messages to the resident and transient populations when the highly trained and skilled professionals in the division determine it to be appropriate. Broadcasting messages that could save lives and prevent future loss of life and property damage should not be limited to the narrow definition currently found in the TIS regulations.

The Lexington-Fayette County TIS system has been used to provide information to motorists in the case of severe weather. The best and most timely source of this information, as well as all-hazard emergency information is the NOAA Weather Radio network, provided by the federal government’s Department of Commerce.

Patricia Dugger
Emergency Management Director
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Auburn, Washington, Controls Its ALERT AM System from a Workstation
AUBURN, WA, March 2011:  "Auburn is a city of more than 68,000 people, located in south King and north Pierce Counties, approximately 20 miles south of Seattle. Our 29.83 square miles contain three state highways and 211 miles of city maintained streets, as well as an elevation change of more than 600 feet. One of those highways serves as a connection between Interstate 90 and Interstate 5 for those who want more direct routing or to avoid the metro area. We are home to a college, a large mall, two significant federal facilities, a horse track and numerous large companies and regional distribution centers that both rely upon and produce items shipped in and out of the city by truck. Just a mile outside our city limits sits a motor sports track, which is host to national level professional motor sport events. All of this leads to our having a large transient daytime population who may be largely unfamiliar with our city and to a large commuter population that traverses our roads as part of their daily commute.

"We purchased our Travelers Information Station (TIS), along with stationary remotely activated flashing lights and mobile variable message signs, to provide important life safety information to our highly mobile population during times of emergency. It is critical that we be able to carry out this function, when we feel it is necessary to do so, regardless of the exact nature of the life safety message that we choose to broadcast.

"In light of our use of our station to assist motorists in the recent snowstorm, it is obvious that these stations can be used to help motorists through the broadcast of weather conditions and forecasts and all weather-related travel information. The best and most timely source of this, as well as all-hazard emergency information is the NOAA Weather Radio service, provided by our federal government's Department of Commerce is timely and valuable to motorists to broadcast.

"We support having the safest possible environment for our area motorists."

Peter Lewis, Mayor
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Lyndhurst, New Jersey's, Emergency Advisory Radio Station
LYNDHURST, NJ, July 2009:  Lyndhurst Township is a progressive community with a population of 19,383 (the business day impact grows to 30,000). Located 6 miles west of the Borough of Manhattan, New York, it is situated among several large cities – Passaic, Paterson, Newark, North Bergen, Union City and Jersey City – in the State of New Jersey. Major Interstate 95 runs along the eastern part of the Township, and NJ Route 17 runs through the center of the Town; NJ Route 3 borders the northern side of the Township, and NJ Route 21 borders the western part of the Township, which links Newark, Passaic and Paterson, Bergen County Routes 11, 26, 28, 30, 507 and 530 have hazardous materials and freight being transported on a daily basis. The Township is also in the flight pattern of Newark Liberty International, Kennedy, LaGuardia and Teterboro Airports. There is also a newly constructed heliport, just 1 ¼ miles southwest of the Township, in the City of Newark.

The Township is surrounded by two large bodies of water, the Hackensack River and the Passaic River Basin, prone to flash flooding. Close proximity of the Meadowlands Sports and Exposition Authority means residual fans vehicles in commercial parking lots within the meadowlands industrial area. Mass transit is used to bus them to the stadium.

NJ Transit provides mass transit in our township with bus and rail operations at two train station locations Kingsland Station located on Route 17 and Milton Avenue and the Lyndhurst Train Station at the intersection of Stuyvesant and Avenues. Conrail provides freight and hazardous substances transportation. Both these transportation services, from Hoboken and the Newark Rail Road Yard, transport to Suffern and Port Jervis, New York.

Lyndhurst has the following educational facilities within the Township:  one high school, seven elementary schools with another under construction, one parochial and the South Bergen Jointure Commission High School for the learning disabled.

Lyndhurst has the following chemical plants, which are SARA Title II facilities with a Health Hazard 4 in the Emergency Response Guidebook for hazardous material incidents:  Sika Chemical Corp and Polyurethane Specialties. Both these facilities are in located in M-1 zones for light industrial. One Pre-K school is located 55 yards from Sika Chemical Corp. Polyurethane is 300 yards east of the South Bergen Jointure Commission High School.

The Township infrastructure has underground transportation that consists of one 30" and one 36" high pressure gas main that run along Interstate 95, supplied by Williams Gas Pipeline, which feeds the northeastern area of the United States. The Jersey City United Water Supply Company has two 72" mains that run through the center of the Township west to east; it does have a past history of water main breaks that affected drinking water and sanitation for the Cities of Jersey City, Hoboken and Lyndhurst.

The Travelers Information Station (TIS) is essential to our community and emergency operations procedures needed to be meet the Township's emergency operations plan, to provide citizens with early warning notifications for impending emergencies. (Impending emergencies are designated as Amber Alerts, Enhanced 9-1-1 failure, hazardous material incidents, power outages, public health warnings, existing road closures, snow emergencies, terrorist threat levels, severe weather, water main breaks, natural disasters and other emergency management notices0. Our TIS operates on 1700 kHz with a FCC call sign of WPUV838, first granted in May 13, 2002.

The Lyndhurst Office of Emergency Management's Local Emergency Planning Committee does a hazard and threat analysis once a year to keep our emergency operations plan up to date.

The Lyndhurst information radio station is important to Lyndhurst Township’s government, city employees, national and local businesses and the public safety and emergency services departments. Access to the TIS for public safety messages positively impacts the quality of life of those who live in or visit our community.

With hurricane season in full swing and a new El Niño on the horizon, not to mention swine flu, in which New Jersey had a few cases within the last 9 months (two deaths occurred). Inoculations are expected this fall. Our radio station can be invaluable in the effort to protect life and property in this area.

Lt. Paul Haggerty, Public Safety Department
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Naperville Emergency Managment
NAPERVILLE, IL, March 2011:  During my employment in Naperville I became aware of the Travelers Information Radio Service (TIS) and, after researching this system, decided that it fit perfectly into our emergency preparedness plans. Naperville (located in the tornado alley of Illinois) has an extensive emergency management program, including 25 outdoor warning sirens, alert radios in all schools and city buildings, emergency override on both cable TV systems and a pager system to alert hearing-impaired residents (the City pays cost of pager). Backing up this system is a volunteer program whose members are trained in emergency response and weather watching. The City has an Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) that is fully equipped with weather monitoring equipment, emergency radio systems and amateur radio equipment. The TIS system added a new tool to keep area motorists informed daily of any emergency as well as day-to-day information relative to the City of Naperville.

Naperville experienced a citywide flood incident in 1996 that taxed the emergency response plan. Over 10,000 homes experienced some level of flooding, residents were moved to emergency shelters, streets were underwater, including an overpass, cable TV was out and there were power outages. We were not able to provide any information to our residents until the cable TV came back on line with the exception of using the TIS to provide road and traffic information. In reviewing our response to this disaster, it was noted that we needed a system to keep the motorists informed and the Travelers Information Station was the answer.

The TIS station proved to be a most valuable tool. We programmed into the station system emergency weather announcements for tornado warnings thus enabling drivers to seek shelter as a storm approached. We had several heavy and crippling snow storms during the winters and the station provided information to residents on what roads were closed and when areas would be plowed. On a day-to-day basis, the station has been used to provide information on emergency
road closures and any imminent safety information the City felt necessary to quickly deliver to people who were driving.

As a Regional President for the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) I have shared our various programs for alerting and keeping local motorists informed on a day to day basis and in times of emergency. The Travelers Information Station was always first on my list.

UPDATE:  In 2014, the City authorized a complete rebuild of their Information Station system, upgrading to RF-based Wireless Audio Link as the means of audio distribution to the synchronized (2) stations; program control via ISS’s IP76 (file/network based) message repetition system; adding the InfoRadio Format to increase professional sound and providing the programming to residents via StreamCast to PC’s and portable devices. Naperville is retaining NOAA Weather Radio emergency interrupts as well as their phone-based audio system as a redundancy.