Lamar, FEMA Partner On Public Alerts, Warnings For 1,000s Of Digital Billboards Across U.S.

December 16, 2020 by Dave Haynes

The U.S. government’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has put together a partnership with the big OOH/DOOH media company Lamar Advertising Company to show emergency alerts on its many digital billboards.

The emergency alerts, provided through FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS), will be displayed on select Lamar digital billboards throughout the country.

IPAWS is FEMA’s national system for local alerting that provides authenticated emergency and life-saving information to the public through mobile phones, radio, television and internet-based services.

“Between the ongoing pandemic and a record number of hurricanes, this has been an unprecedented year for emergency alerts,” says FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor in PR.  “By integrating IPAWS across Lamar’s national digital billboard network, we have yet another channel to convey potentially life-saving information to the American public.”

More than 1,500 federal, state, local, tribal and territorial alerting authorities use IPAWS to convey information about severe weather, missing children and other public safety emergencies. IPAWS alerts have already appeared on Lamar digital billboards in 17 states and are available to run in all 43 states that Lamar covers.

When an alerting authority issues an emergency alert, Lamar offices in the affected regions will have the ability to automatically broadcast that alert on available digital billboard space in the region affected by the alert. Alerts will be displayed for 30 minutes at a time. Not all alerts sent through FEMA will appear on a Lamar billboard.

Lamar has the largest network of digital billboards in the U.S., with more than 3,600 displays, so this is not a token initiative.

“As one of the last remaining and most trusted mass media channels, billboard messages capture the attention of the public and are noticed by 90% of consumers each month,” says Sean Reilly, CEO of Lamar. “Throughout our history, Lamar has been instrumental in helping authorities, government agencies, and, most recently, health officials quickly disseminate information to the public. By extending the reach of FEMA alerts to our digital billboards, we will ensure more people see the real-time, critical information they need to stay safe during emergencies.”

More than 11,000 alerts/warnings have gone out via IPAWS so far in 2020. 

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