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Regional Joint Information Center Letterhead

For Immediate Release

May 14, 2012

New Emergency Communications System Tested Today

(Harris County, TX) Gulf Coast area county judges unveiled today a partnership with Clear Channel Outdoor to provide emergency messaging to area residents on Clear Channel’s digital billboards in the case of a natural or man-made disaster.  A test was performed today with messages displayed on eleven area digital billboards.  Officials urge citizens to be prepared in case of an emergency. 

Harris, Galveston, Fort Bend and Brazoria counties have all endorsed the “Gulf Coast Emergency Communications Network” as a viable means to augment their efforts to reach the public during a crisis.  The emergency management offices of each county are working with Clear Channel to perfect how and when messages are displayed on the units.  “Time is of the essence in the case of emergencies and digital technology on billboards provides instant messaging in real time,” Donna Baker, president of the Clear Channel Houston office, said. 

The system is currently comprised of eleven digital units throughout the area with four more being deployed within the next 30 days.  As units are built they will be added to the system which will provide region-wide messaging as well as local messages.  During an emergency, county officials urge area residents to have a plan, make a kit and stay informed.  Messages on digital billboards will help to keep residents informed throughout a crisis. 

“This is another tool to help us communicate potentially lifesaving emergency information to residents of Harris and surrounding counties at no cost to the taxpayers,” said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. “And communication is key to saving lives and protecting property in a disaster.”

For more information and the full news release

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