Storm Systems Announces “ECHO” – Revolutionary SMS Weather Alert Systems

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Joe Register, University of South Florida PhD Engineer, and a team of engineers and programmers have released ECHO, the latest SMS weather alert and communication system that uses multi-source data to help people connect, to stay safe at outdoor events. Tampa-based company Storm Systems, LLC uses a sophisticated network of weather sensor data to deliver accurate weather and lightning forecasting and warnings in real time, using text messaging, to outdoor venues and events. The system constantly scans the area for threats of lightning, hail, tornadoes, and other threatening weather conditions. In addition, the ECHO system connects visitors directly to local site administrators who can give visitors detailed instructions to ensure safety, in emergency situations.

ECHO is a text-to-join SMS (text) system for outdoor events and venues. ECHO is text based weather information that also offers local group messaging services. The system is quick and easy to use. One simply texts a short code to a phone number to subscribe to a local “ECHO Node”. Each local venue/location has its own keyword. The system greets you with a return text that includes a short weather forecast for your immediate area along with any messages that are relevant. The messages can range from the immediate threat of lightning, a friendly reminder, or other communications from the site’s staff.

In an interview with Dr. Register he outlined the system’s advantages. “We saw a market need for communication and reliable weather alerts for outdoor activities. The current apps are not community-driven. Often they give general weather conditions in the closest city instead of hyperlocal forecasts, specific to an exact latitude and longitude location. The apps are limited to very general information on weather conditions and real-time reporting, to be of much value to users.”

With ECHO, each local, physical location can be supplied with a data stream of relevant information. Field closures, community updates, and live weather can all be part of the information stream to the user. A marina may let patrons know of their current gas price or what time the food service stops. Construction sites may provide weather and then a short safety briefing for the incoming workers. A unique feature is that ECHO can be configured to suit the needs of each organization.

Richard Cohen the company’s director of operations quoted “The system is immensely powerful. The ability to send a message to hundreds or thousands of people instantly improves both communication and safety”. The system went online in December and Storm Systems is already signing up customers nationwide.