Public warning and notification

Notification has been an active area for several years and is growing more dynamic as the Federal
Emergency Management Agency comes closer to adopting standards for its Integrated Public
Warning and Alert System. FEMA officials said recently that could happen in January 2009.

Notification systems include old-fashioned sirens and alarms along with newer technologies
such as Reverse 911 phone systems, cell phones, text messages, e-mail systems, video messages
and TV messages.

Lockheed Martin Corp. provides comprehensive warning systems to communities and the owners
of critical infrastructure such as dams, utilities and parks. It is crucial that such systems give
operators the ability to track whether messages have been received, said Todd Eckman, chief technology
officer at Lockheed Martin's Advanced Technology and Services Solutions unit.

Another
important feature is having redundant and multiple notification systems, Eckman said. "If you put
all the different notifications together, you get a 95 percent notification rate."

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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