AUSTIN, Texas - The City of Austin Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the Travis County Office of Emergency Management have partnered with Deaf Link to launch the Accessible Hazard Alert System (AHAS) for Deaf, Blind, Hard of Hearing, or Deaf and Blind communities.
Users of the Accessible Hazard Alert System will receive an accessible message in American Sign Language along with English voice and text. The alert message will include information about the emergency and what actions to take.
Travis County says AHAS has the capability to send accessible alerting messages to registered residents before, during, and after an emergency or disaster in Travis County.
"The City of Austin and Travis County realize how essential it is for the community to have access to critical life-saving information before, during, and after emergencies," said Director of the City of Austin Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Juan Ortiz. "The Accessible Hazard Alert System allows us to reach another part of our community that we can inform and protect during a crisis or other emergency events."
When an emergency alert or other information is sent through the AHAS program, users will receive accessible alert messages on devices such as computers, cell phones, smartphones, tablet computers, and wireless Braille readers.
"We are grateful to be able to partner with an organization like Deaf Link who shares our commitment to community preparedness," said Travis County Office of Emergency Management Chief Emergency Management Coordinator Eric Carter. "Preparedness information should be available to everyone, and AHAS helps us achieve that goal by helping reach the Deaf, Blind, Hard of Hearing, and Deaf and Blind community to ensure all communities take action when needed."