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Mass SMS alerts to be issued at San Francisco airport during an emergency

San Francisco International Airport in California has become the first airport in the USA to gain approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to issue Wireless Emergency Alerts, which can issue potentially lifesaving information to any cell phone located on airport grounds.

This industry-leading capability enables the airport to issue the emergency alerts through the Integrated Public Alert Warning System (IPAWS), a unified platform that integrates multiple alert systems across the nation. With Wireless Emergency Alerts issued through IPAWS, airport staff can quickly reach employees, passengers, and members of the public on airport grounds to provide critical information in an emergency.

Ivar C Satero, airport director, San Francisco International Airport, said, “Safety and security are our highest priorities, and we continue to enhance our emergency response capabilities. Being the first US airport to be approved to issue Wireless Emergency Alerts gives us an important tool to help keep people safe during an emergency.”

With Wireless Emergency Alerts, warnings can be sent to a mobile device without the need to download an app or subscribe to a service. Designated airport staff have been trained and certified to issue Wireless Emergency Alert information using IPAWS.

In the event of an incident, emergency, or situation which requires critical and potentially lifesaving information to be disseminated immediately, designated staff will use the system to send a text message, accompanied by an audible alert, to cell phones in the prescribed area who have enabled Emergency Alerts under the Government Alerts section of their phone settings.

Written by Daniel Symonds

January 11, 2018


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