Monday, October 4, 2021

City of Austin and Travis County Launch System to Provide Emergency Alerts in American Sign Language

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.

Austin and Travis County AHAS subscribers will receive an accessible message in ASL and English voice and text. The alert message will include information about the emergency and what actions to take. 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 internet and video capable devices such as computers, cell phones, smart phones, tablet computers, and wireless Braille readers.

"We are grateful to be able to partner with an organization like Deaf Link who share 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."

Community Preparedness

As National Preparedness Month comes to a close, City of Austin HSEM wants to ensure residents take the appropriate steps towards being emergency prepared before disaster happens by Making a Plan, Building a Kit, Knowing your Neighbors, and Staying Informed.

To "Stay Informed," residents can visit to learn about the different tools such as Warn Central Texas and Ready Central Texas, available to help with emergency preparedness.
To register for the Austin-Travis County AHAS, complete the signup form and check the box to receive alert messages in accessible formats. You can also text AHAS to (737) 241-3710 to register.

For more information about emergency preparedness visit:

Accessible version of this press release: