Information Station Specialists is the best known source of traveler's information stations, highway advisory radio, advisory signs and services needed to reach motorists. Learn more about Information Station Specialists.
     
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  ALERT AM TM
Emergency Advisory Radio System

Travelers Information Station / Highway Advisory Radio

ALERT AM indoor cabinet
AEL/SEL Category 04AP-09-ALRT
 
When it all goes down, ALERT AM stays up.
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Hundreds of communities across America operate ALERT AM Emergency Advisory Radio Stations to tell citizens what to do during incidents that threaten life and property.

No power? No internet? No problem. With the ALERT AM system, listeners receive up-to-the-minute reports and instructions across a 3-5 mile radius (25-75 square-mile area) with a level of detail that makes the broadcasts invaluable.

During non-emergency times, officials use the stations to inform motorists of street repairs, traffic constraints, travel advisories, city history and visitor information.

The below capabilities establish the ALERT AM system as a unique communication tool that produces effective public response and appreciation, 24/7.
Standard ALERT AM Package Options (that may be added at any time)
  1. Local, phone, IP and USB control interfaces.
  2. HQ5.1TM Broadcast quality audio processor to increase audio quality.
  3. Voice-prompter-style digital recorder with 3 hours of recording time, hundreds of playlists and 1,000-message capability. Redundancy.
  4. 2-way radio control. Redundancy.
  5. Live broadcasting locally or remote.
  6. External control triggering via siren, pushbutton or other alarm.
  7. Transmitter type accepted with 15-year proven track record, synthesized frequency design for agile operation with full 5000 Hz bandwidth audio.
  8. Antenna/groundplane system.
  9. Secure indoor cabinets, dual-door rack style.
  10. National Weather Service 'all hazard' encoding to automatically broadcast Emergency Alert System messages targeted to specific counties.
  11. Uninterruptible power supply.
  12. Diagnostic metering and test equipment.
  13. Hardware, cables, power supplies and illustrated manuals.
  14. System engineering and planning.
  15. Remote tech support for the life of the product.
  16. Potential interference notification services for the life of the product.

See the Technical Specifications webpage for details.

  1. Computer-controlled audio programming by dedicated PC.
  2. StreamCastsSM that broadcast messages to smartphones, tablets and laptops to boost indoor and out-of-area listening.
  3. ENcastsTM to automatically interrupt broadcasts to air text-based emergency messages from compliant mass-notification systems.
  4. 4-day operational battery backup to keep the system on the air during power outages.
  5. Vertical Profile Antenna SystemTM, an efficient hurricane-rated, ANSI/TIA-compliant antenna solution that saves space and installation time.
  6. GPS frequency stabilization that allows synch of multiple stations to effectively enlarge coverage.
  7. Flashing ALERT SignFlashing ALERTTM Signs to encourage motorists to tune to emergency stations when beacons flash.
  8. 2X Signal BoosterTM with up to double the efficiency/range of the standard antenna.
  9. Outdoor weatherproof cabinets for isolated locations without host buildings.
  10. Signal Measurement RadioTM Receiver to verify FCC compliance.

See a webpage listing features only ALERT AM has in the marketplace.

Who operates ALERT AM stations?

Operators include…

  • Municipalities (cities, counties, townships, boroughs, towns and villages): e.g., departments of public safety, emergency management, public health and public information (PIO).
  • Points of entry: e.g., airports, border protection, port authorities).
  • Universities and colleges.
  • Government agencies (federal and state): e.g., departments of transportation (DOTs), bridge authorities, emergency management and public health departments.

See case studies.   

Frequency & Licensing
The Federal Communications Commission grants licenses for ALERT AM systems to government entities on available AM frequencies on a first-come-first-served basis, secondary to full power broadcast stations.

In 1991, the Commission opened to information radio stations all frequencies in the 530-1700 band, subject to separation requirements.

Information Station Specialists can help identify the optimal frequency at your location and will apply for your station’s FCC license.

See our Licensing Services webpage.

EARs across America map 
Click here to see a listing of our emergency alert stations across the United States. 
  
ALERT AM Message Control
The ALERT AM system can be controlled over a network, USB, landline/cellphone or via a two-way transceiver provided by the operator. When optioned, messages can be managed on a PC workstation. The ALERT AM system allows the operator to pre-record messages for quick broadcast as anticipated emergency scenarios present themselves.

Broadcasts may also be triggered by ancillary devices, i.e., siren-system closures, switches or other external sources. This allows ALERT AM to quickly switch from broadcasting general information to specific emergency information if disaster strikes. When the National Weather Service issues all-hazard Emergency Alert System alerts for designated counties, they are broadcast automatically, interrupting standard programming. ALERT AM also allows the operator to lock out NOAA alerts if necessary. Broadcasting live is easy with the push of a button and can be effected at the radio station itself or remotely from any telephone.

ALERT AM’s digital message player comes stocked with pre-recorded emergency management messages prepared by our professional announcers to illustrate what’s possible within the system. In addition, you may take advantage of our free or commissioned recording services to create broadcasts.

An audio processor boosts audio quality and receivable range.

Visit a webpage outlining Permitted Content for ALERT AM stations.
Antenna Styles
The two most common formats:
  • Yard Style: ALERT AM may be installed at a building with the electronics securely indoors and the antenna pole mounted in the adjacent yard connected by an underground cable. This style is recommended because it is most economical and affords the greatest security for equipment. A 50’ separation from buildings is recommended.
  • Isolated Style: At remote locations where there is no building, a weatherproof cabinet containing the electronics is attached to the antenna support pole. The location must have electrical power and, if equipment is to be remotely controlled, telephone, two-way or network service.
If a yard- or isolated-style installation is not possible, custom installation on a building roof is possible in some instances. Lateral separation of the antenna from large, nearby objects by at least the height of the object is suggested to prevent signal degradation.

Information Station Specialists can provide documentation that radio frequency exposure from the ALERT AM antenna does not exceed FCC limits for safe operation.

For more information, see our ALERT AM Planning webpage.

See also a page discussing the breakdown of who usually does what during installation.
Complete Package
As you would expect, Information Station Specialists provides a full menu of technical services to help you put and keep ALERT AM on the air. We will help plan and implement your station, including frequency and site selection, FCC licensing, installation, staff training and the FCC-required field survey and documentation.

Even professionally recorded audio messages are available, so your broadcast is ready to put on the air as soon as the station is turned on.

Best of all, each system comes with Remote Technical Support and Potential Interference Notification Services (PINS) for the life of the station.

ALERT AM may be purchased “sole source,” or specifications may be provided for agency bid procurement. Lease-to-own terms are also available. Inquire for details.

In addition to the fixed ALERT AM system, we offer Portable Emergency Advisory Radio Systems, which, in some instances, have an equal capability to ALERT AM plus a few extra options.

Also, the Information Station
is a lower cost alternative with many of the same messaging capabilities as ALERT AM but without the specialized 'all hazard' broadcast capability, four-day operational battery backup and GPS frequency stabilization options described above under.
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