||Owned by the U.S. Government and operated by
a staff trained to address emergencies, the NOAA Public Alert Radio is
a service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the
U.S. Department of Commerce. NOAA
personnel use information from Doppler radar, storm spotters, state
and local officials, satellites and other sources to issue warnings.
These watches and warnings are broadcast over NOAA systems and also are
retransmitted by many local radio and television stations. With
this information, local emergency management and public safety officials
can activate local warning systems to alert communities of an impending
In June 2004, the Department of Homeland Security and
the Department of Commerce entered into an agreement providing DHS
the capability to disseminate terrorism-related information to national
and targeted populations over the existing NOAA network.In
2003, the Consumer Electronics Association partnered with NOAA and
Environment Canada to establish new industry standards to help ensure
the reliability of products carrying public safety
warnings. Products meeting these standards now carry the “Public Alert” logo.
Given the value of this system, the Departments of Homeland
Security and Commerce joined with the U.S. Department of Education, and Health and Human Services
to launch this distribution program to provide public alert radios to schools. The
Consumer Electronics Association is another key partner in this effort.