National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 1992

Improved satellite-based emergency alerting system

Bernard, E.N., and H.B. Milburn

J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol., 8(6), 879–883, doi: 10.1175/1520-0426(1991)008<0879:ISBEAS>2 (1991)

Rapid-onset natural hazards have claimed more than 2.8 million lives worldwide in the past 20 years. This category includes such events as earthquakes, landslides, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, volcanic eruptions, wildfires, and tsunamis. Effective hazard mitigation is particularly difficult in such cases, since the time available to issue warnings can be very short or even nonexistent. A general approach to mitigate the effects of these disasters was demonstrated in 1988 that included preevent emergency planning, real-time hazard assessment, and rapid warning via satellite communication links. In this article, we report on improvements in this satellite-based emergency alerting communication system that have reduced the response time from 87 to 17 s and expanded the broadcast coverage from 40% to 62% of the earth's surface.

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