Oregon's Regional Alliances for Infrastructure and Network Security has created RAINS-Net, a regional alert system that uses 911 information to automatically alert areas that may be affected by an emergency, such as schools, hospitals, and corporate buildings.

The Alliance is made up of over 300 public and private organizations and 60 IT vendors who have come together to develop the security system, which has been outfitted with applications for a future national system.

The program would deliver real-time information to computers and cell phones of end-users on a need-to-know basis, in addition to providing media such as maps or security procedures to assist users in responding to an emergency.

Developers insist that the technology can easily be replicated by other states. Currently the only other RAINS system operates in the state of Washington, although three other states have expressed interest in expansion.

"Our nation's security experts have acknowledged the need for a better way to communicate sensitive information and to coordinate emergency response, [which is] especially critical in post-9/11 America," says Susan Zevin of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. "The RAINS-Net approach can serve as a model that could be adopted by cities throughout the nation."
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from Computerworld (08/20/03); Verton, Dan.