Metis Secure Solutions demonstrates effectiveness of using FM RBDS for emergency notifications

Several multi-lingual emergency alerts were delivered in as little as 4.5 seconds during demonstration


Pittsburgh, PA – September 21, 2010 – Metis Secure Solutions, the leading provider of location-based emergency notification systems (ENS), today announces the completion of a project funded by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security), and directed by Northrop Grumman Corporation, to demonstrate the effectiveness of sending emergency notifications via FM RBDS. Metis Secure utilizes FM RBDS as a key communication technology to ensure rapid emergency alert delivery. The Metis demonstration lasted for 90 days from March 8 – June 7, 2010, with an active demonstration day on April 13, 2010.

According to Mark Lucero, IPAWS Program Manager, FEMA, "The demonstration showed that FM RBDS is a viable communications technology at the state and local emergency manager level for disseminating emergency information."

During the active demonstration, emergency alerts were sent from the Allegheny County Office of Emergency Management to the Director of Environmental Health and Safety, Carnegie Mellon University, Madelyn Miller. Miller then issued the alerts from the web-based Metis software in her office to 26 devices in five locations across Allegheny County, PA. There were four tests, with one of the tests originated utilizing the common alerting protocol (CAP) format. Each alert activated voice, text, lights and sirens. The alert text was sent in English and Spanish, and the alert voice response was activated in English, Spanish, and Korean. Each alert was delivered within a range of 4.5 and 11 seconds.

Metis’ partner, WDUQ 90.5 FM transmitted the FM RBDS signal received by the Metis alerting devices. Throughout the 90-day testing period the Metis system achieved a greater than 99% uptime, with 100% of all messages received, thus proving the reliability of the system.

Mark Kurtzrock, CEO Metis Secure Solutions, said, "This demonstration effectively proves why Metis relies on FM-RBDS and Wireless Mesh communication protocols in our notification system. Most mass notification systems count on the Internet or mobile phone networks, and we know that those "best-effort" communication protocols often fail in emergency situations."