As part of the city’s emergency warning system, the Austin Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) has an Accessible Hazard Alert System designed to reach community members who have limited literacy or are deaf, hard of hearing, or blind. Emergency messages are issued as a video with voice, text, and American Sign Language to video-capable devices and Braille readers.

Anyone who might be served by this technology is encouraged to register at the AHAS website or by texting AHAS at (737) 241-3710.

“HSEM [Homeland Security and Emergency Services – for the City of Austin] is committed to providing equitable access of emergency information. When we engage with disability advocacy groups, we learn how to better serve members of our community who are sometimes left out of the conversation,” Ken Snipes, director of HSEM, said in a statement to the press. “Our goal is to make sure organizations in the disability advocacy space have access to us and can see themselves represented in emergency plans.”

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