Press Release

For Immediate Release


#PrepTalkNYC {Click to listen to episode 33}

June 18, 2019 — Providing timely and accurate information to the public is crucial during an emergency. In the latest episode of “Prep Talk,” special guests Lisa Fowlkes, chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s Public Safety Homeland Security Bureau, and Benjamin Krakauer, assistant commissioner of strategy and program development at New York City Emergency Management, discuss the importance of Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) in effectively communicating critical, public safety alerts to the public during an emergency. The guests also discuss some of the latest improvements to the system including geo-targeting and an increased character count from 90 to 360.

You can listen to the latest episode on SoundCloud, iTunes, and Spreaker.


Lisa M. Fowlkes is the bureau chief of the FCC’s Public Safety Homeland Security Bureau. She previously served as a deputy bureau chief responsible for development and implementation of FCC policies in the areas of cybersecurity, communications reliability and emergency alerting. Ms. Fowlkes has led many of the FCC’s public safety policy initiatives including the FCC’s adoption of rules to ensure the reliability of 911 networks, particularly as the communications industry goes through major technological changes, and the FCC’s adoption of rules to ensure that consumers can receive emergency alerts over cell phones and other mobile devices through Wireless Emergency Alerts.

Ms. Fowlkes’s career spans over 26 years during which she has held several positions within the FCC including acting deputy bureau chief, assistant chief and legal advisor of the Enforcement Bureau, acting director of the Office of Communications Business Opportunities, and deputy chief of the former Public Safety Private Wireless division. Ms. Fowlkes also practiced law at a Washington, DC law firm where she represented public safety agencies, broadcast licensees, critical infrastructure service providers, government defense contractors and equipment manufacturers. She earned her undergraduate degree from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania and her law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. 

Benjamin Krakauer is assistant commissioner for strategy and program development at New York City Emergency Management where he oversees high-priority, cross-functional programs and projects aimed at improving the city’s overall ability to respond to and recover from emergencies. Mr. Krakauer joined New York City Emergency Management in 2010 as a public warning specialist, helping to build and operationalize the City’s emergency public notification program, Notify NYC. Prior to his current role, Mr. Krakauer served as the director of watch command where he provided strategic and operational oversight for the City’s 24/7 interagency coordination center.
Prior to joining New York City Emergency Management, Mr. Krakauer was an emergency manager for Broome County, New York where he served as the incident commander during the H1N1 Influenza Pandemic and managed the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during the 2009 mass shooting. He spent more than a decade as an emergency medical technician, paramedic, and emergency medical services instructor. Mr. Krakauer holds a bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University’s Harpur College of Arts and Sciences, and a master’s degree from Binghamton University’s College of Community and Public Affairs. He completed the Big City Emergency Manager’s Emerging Leaders program in 2015.


MEDIA CONTACT: Tashawn Brown/Omar Bourne (718) 422-4888

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