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Texas Department of Public Safety Installs Digital Alert Systems Equipment to Handle Statewide Emergency Alerts

Technology for regional emergency alerts

Digital Alert Systems DASDEC-II

LYNDONVILLE, N.Y. and AUSTIN, Tex. — Digital Alert Systems, a division of Monroe Electronics, and Texas-based systems integrator Consolidated Telecom Services (CTS), announced recently that the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has deployed a major upgrade in the state’s ability to keep its citizens warned and informed, with the Digital Alert Systems DASDEC-II Emergency Operations Center (DASEOC) integrated public alert and warning solution. 

The Texas DPS’ Division of Emergency Management is using its new DASEOC equipment to activate the Texas Emergency Alert System (EAS) statewide, as well as send alerts to mobile phones and other systems through the Federal Emergency Management Agency Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). DPS is the primary source for emergency messages from the governor or other designated state officials.

The DASEOC will serve as the core of the state’s public alert and warning system, simultaneously activating the state EAS relay to radio, TV, and cable systems across Texas. The DASEOC will be the state’s primary interface with the FEMA IPAWS network, providing the department with synchronized access to EAS and enabling IPAWS to generate wireless emergency alerts to cell phone systems. Alerts sent from the DASEOC will be monitored by radio, TV, and cable operations across Texas and carried by wireless carriers across the state.

The size and geographic diversity of Texas pose numerous hurdles to conventional EAS capabilities. The DASEOC addresses these challenges by allowing DPS officials to create and issue alerts from the DASEOC to both the existing EAS system and FEMA’s CAP-based IPAWS system. With the DASEOC, Texas DPS can send statewide alerts or target the messages to any number of Texas’ 254 counties.

By making it easy for authorities to send emergency communications by both legacy EAS and CAP, the DASEOC ensures that the public can receive alerts via radio, TV, cable, and mobile phones. The DASEOC can also relay emergency communications to other CAP systems for use by public safety and emergency management professionals. Easily integrated with a variety of broadcast and public safety systems, the DASEOC also facilitates activation of EAS in parallel to other communications systems, increasing the ability to reach both the public and first responders through many paths with consistent messaging.

“By replacing its older equipment with DASEOC, the state of Texas now has a more robust, efficient, and reliable way to spread lifesaving warnings to its citizens about emergencies via all modes of digital technology,” said Edward Czarnecki, Monroe Electronics’ senior director of strategic development and global government affairs. “The DASEOC’s standards-based approach also sets the foundation for interoperability with future systems that DPS may be considering.”

CTS handled the sale and provided joint training and installation services to DPS. “Digital Alert Systems’ DASEOC has been specifically designed to meet both EAS and next-generation IPAWS requirements, and will provide a major enhancement to Texas’ public alerting capabilities,” said Peter Albera, strategic account manager, CTS. “This deployment sets a model for Texas counties and cities to follow, in terms of the technology options they should pursue to improve their public warning capabilities.”