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The HEARO Local Alert Receiver is an emergency management tool to relay and display informational text messages in English, Spanish, French and German using RDS technology. It notifies local residents in the event of an emergency within a matter of seconds. HEARO carries NOAA weather warnings and other public safety text alerts. Using FM radio infrastructure and a 60-hour battery life, HEARO works when electricity, telephone and Internet are out. It functions by having a single operator send text messages to the receivers. viaRadio Corporation of Melbourne, Florida manufacturers and distributes HEARO receivers. [1]

HEARO is the only publicly available implementation of any component of a Common Alerting Protocol-based alert message transfer system.[2] It can also provide NOAA Weather Radio updates.

Active systems[edit]

Indialantic, Florida adopted the HEARO system after its volunteer fire department experimented with it for a year. Indialantic officials wanted an effective method to alert its residents to emergencies, particularly during hurricane season when the only means of evacuating the barrier island is over one of the causeways. The system is also in use in Palm Bay, Florida.[3]

Leon County Schools in Tallahassee, Florida adopted the HEARO system in 2008. By placing the HEARO receivers in schools and all district facilities, LCS plans to inform the schools' administration of lock downs, weather emergencies and other pertinent information. viaRadio works with other school systems around the country including Florida's Brevard Public Schools for more than a year.[4]

The Caribbean island Montserrat utilizes the HEARO to alert residents of volcanic activity and other hazards. Coordinated by the Disaster Management Co-ordination Agency (DMCA), with assistance from the Royal Montserrat Defence Force and the Royal Montserrat Police Force, the local disaster agency has started the distribution of HEARO Local Alert Receivers to residents in the most vulnerable areas. The goal of the program is to place the advanced early warning radio in every home, business, school and other critical agencies on island.[5]

The University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida utilizes the HEARO radio system as one of the methods to distribute emergency alerts to campus personnel. "HEARO Radios are also placed throughout the campus in high-occupancy locations." [6]

See also[edit]