ESRL Global Systems Division

ESRL Technology at Emergency Managers Conference

ESRL's technical demonstration at the Annual International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Conference held November 2 was received with enthusiasm. Greg Pratt of ESRL's Global Systems Division (GSD) displayed the innovative software, Geo-Targeted Altering System (GTAS), that allows alerts and warnings to be targeted to geographic areas. A joint development effort between ESRL and FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), GTAS was one of the multiple programs FEMA exhibited during the conference. The project is testing new technologies in an effort to prepare for possible terrorist attacks on 53 major metropolitan cities in the U.S. These technologies would allow managers to predict hazard zones in near real time, and to collaborate on which areas to alert and what the message should be. Then alerts and warnings would be delivered (using reverse-911 notification) to residents in a specific geographic area based on risks and recommended protective measures.

Dean Rychlik, a FEMA technical requirements manager, thanked the GSD team for their support and outstanding progress made to enable this showcasing of GTAS at the emergency managers conference. He also stated, "I believe the demonstration was a big win for FEMA IPAWS from the positive on-site feedback I received at the conference; and specifically, GTAS was a grand slam when we were able to send along a Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) message to ten industry vendors to activate various alert and warning systems ranging from state-of-the-art desktop alerting to legacy Emergency Alert System (EAS) endcoder/decoders."

The annual IAEM conference is an important event that allows many of the nation's emergency managers to share best practices and lessons learned as they continue to build the nation's emergency response teams. With GTAS, NOAA supports FEMA's goal to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that, as a nation, we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Contact information
Name: Greg Pratt
Tel: 303-497-7237