NATIONAL EMERGENCY ALARM REPEATER (NEAR) SYSTEM: United States. 1962. The National Emergency Alarm Repeater was designed to provide near instantaneous warning of nuclear attack to members of the public who were indoors at the time the warning was issued. The system, when activated, transmitted a signal over electric utility lines to receivers plugged into standard 120 volt receptacles. The receiver, an approximately 3.5 inch square box, emitted what was described as a "loud, annoying buzzing sound" that could be easily heard over normal indoor noise levels.
The system was intended as a supplement to sirens to provide warning coverage for 96 percent of the population in homes, offices, factories, schools, and in rural areas where installation of outdoor warning systems would have been too expensive.
The engineering test phase for the National Emergency Alarm Repeater started in October 1962 with the installation of a converter on the Arizona Public Service Company system in Phoenix, Arizona. Testing was scheduled to be concluded in June 1964.
Source: United States Department of Defense, Office of Civil Defense, Personal and Family Survival, Civil Defense Adult Education Course Student Manual, SM 3-11, Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, U. S. Government Printing Office, 1963.
Entry 04118 - posted 25 November 2004