Miami Beach First City in U.S. to Implement Mobile Solution for Severe Weather Alerts
Location-Based Alerting System, Powered by the WeatherBug® Network and Sprint Nextel, Helps Ensure Public Safety at the City's Beaches and Parks
Miami Beach, FL. – The City of Miami Beach is the first city in the country to equip lifeguards and park and recreation staff with a location-based wireless solution that sends alerts when severe weather conditions threaten public safety. Powered by WeatherBug®, a leading provider of live, local weather information services, the system utilizes Sprint (NYSE: S) GPS-enabled handsets on the Nextel National Network equipped with WeatherBug Protect, a unique weather alerting and notification application.
"One of our priorities is to make our city a safer one for everyone that lives, works and plays in our beautiful city," said Miami Beach City Manager Jorge M. Gonzalez. "We are always looking at innovative ways to enhance and improve public safety."
WeatherBug Protect is the first alerting system to integrate information from the National Weather Service with live, streaming weather data from the WeatherBug Network of more than 8,000 WeatherBug Tracking Stations across the U.S.A. The system continuously monitors potentially threatening weather conditions and is the first to provide users with real-time severe weather alerts such as wind gust monitoring, lightning detection and warnings and heat index. WeatherBug Protect matches weather alerts with each end-user's specific location, weather profile and mobile device and then formats and delivers the appropriate alert message - end users receive precise, relevant and immediate alerts.
The City of Miami Beach purchased 22 devices for key parks and ocean rescue locations and have already began using them. A WeatherBug Tracking Station was installed at the police headquarters. Installation of additional Tracking Stations and WeatherBug Cameras at the new emergency operations center and along the beach are planned for this spring.
"Severe weather is a concern regardless of your location, but it is imperative to stay aware of fast moving thunderstorms when you are at the pool, on the beach or in a park," said Chris Brozenick, vice president and general manager of WeatherBug Mobile. "By distributing WeatherBug Protect enabled handsets at these key locations the City of Miami Beach is demonstrating that the safety of its citizens and visitors is a top priority."
Unlike traditional, one-way, text alerts, WeatherBug Protect supports two-way messages for voice and SMS text email messages, powered by Send Word Now®, a leading provider of on-demand notification and incident management services. The service provides the issuer a delivery status and user response and can also be extended to serve as a broader notification platform, enabling administrators and other officials to initiate their own alerts.
According to NOAA's National Weather Service, in the United States, there are an estimated 25 million lightning flashes each year. During the past 30 years, lightning killed an average of 66 people per year. While documented lightning injuries in the United States average about 300 per year, undocumented injuries are likely much higher.