"With this system, all of the information
is right in front of us, posted directly by the school districts and others.
It is automatically updated, organized logically and very easy
to read. It speeds the information process at a time when time
is of the essence. It eliminates steps in which mistakes can be
made -- there are no telephone calls to answer, no illegible handwriting
or fuzzy faxes to decipher. To top it off, the information is automatically sent into our
station's web site, making it even more useful. FlashAlert is a miracle cure. I could go on and on about this, it's so cool."
John Erickson, News Director, K103 Radio, Portland
That's the principle behind FlashAlert Newswire.
The system collects emergency information, news releases and high school sports scores from hundreds of organizations - including schools, colleges, businesses, hospitals, utilities, cities, military - and provides it to the print, radio and TV media by three methods:
1: A constantly updated website
2: E-mails to newsrooms
3: File transfers directly into media websites and TV on-screen graphic systems.
FlashAlert's Three Media Tools
1) Each region's home page (listed below) displays the information within one minute of being received. Stations are encouraged to monitor the page, which automatically refreshes every five minutes. It has a built-in alarm that flashes the browser tab and plays a tone with the arrival of new emergency information, even if the page is minimized. The page sorts by category by default; you may toggle it to view by message type or in reverse chronological order (useful on a busy day when you just want to see the latest info coming in). The report page also has a link to the archives for news releases (one month) and sports scores (one week).
2) Every 15 minutes, the latest emergency information is e-mailed to radio and TV station and newspaper newsrooms. News releases are sent immediately. Emails can be sent to as many people in your newsroom as you wish. Are your email addresses up to date in FlashAlert? Click here, select your region, then city, and if you need to make changes, please email Craig@FlashAlert.net.
3) Also every 15 minutes, all information is automatically
pushed into participating news media websites, where the public can view it. You
can receive the info in HTML or XML format, at no cost. Click here for a description of the types of files available for your station website and/or on-screen graphics.
At 11 a.m., emergency messages pertaining tolate openings delete. At 7 p.m., the rest of the day's information deletes and subscribers begin placing information regarding the next day, for use in 10 and 11 p.m. television newscasts. (Organizations may post information before 7 p.m. and mark that it pertains to the next day, and that information stays alive through the night.) News releases stay in the archive for one month and sports scores for one week.
FlashAlert is operated by Craig Walker Communications, Inc., which has managed emergency communications for the school districts in the Portland-Vancouver area for 34 years. There is no cost to the media and organizations pay a fee ranging from $130 to $250 per year, depending on size.
The Portland region alone has 1,770 member organizations, including all police and fire agencies in the region. To see how two Portland stations use the emergency information in their websites, go to: KATU TV or KEX Radio
View region report pages:
Portland - Longview to Salem, Astoria to The Dalles
Eugene (Valley) - Albany/Corvallis to Roseburg
Medford - Medford / Klamath Falls
Bend - Central & Eastern Ore.
Seattle - Puget Sound / Western Washington
Columbia - Central Wash. / Yakima / Tri-Cities
Spokane - Eastern Wash. & No. Idaho
Boise - Southern Idaho
Colorado Springs (Rocky Mountain) - Colorado Springs/Pueblo
Phone: 360.834.1953 Craig@FlashAlert.net