Case Study: Statewide Alerts to Residents of Alabama
On April 27, 2011, a series of powerful tornadoes swept across the southeastern United States. The state of Alabama was heavily affected; in all, the U.S. National Weather Service confirmed 62 tornado touchdowns in the state on that day.
In response, a report was produced by a group named TRAC (Tornado Recovery Action Council). One of its key recommendations involved the creation of a statewide, integrated weather alert system that provided more precise alerts, maximized the weather awareness potential of smart phone technologies, and allowed individuals to enroll phone numbers to receive voice call alerts. As a result, in early 2012 the Alabama governor announced the implementation of a free statewide initiative called Alabama SAF-T-Net.
The Alabama SAF-T-Net program allows enrolled residents to receive all the alerts associated with the consumer service, with some modifications. Baron Services has enlisted the support of Alabama media outlets to sponsor and promote the free service. Additionally, weather monitoring systems were provided to all emergency management offices in Alabama, allowing officials to not only track approaching weather, but send their own alert and post-event messages to Alabama SAF-T-Net subscribers.
The Alabama SAF-T-Net program serves as a template for wireless alerting services that can be implemented in any part of the world.