During emergency situations governments as well as relief and rescue services need to communicate with the people they are trying to protect. These organisations are concerned with how to warn populations in at-risk areas that an emergency may be imminent so that they can take appropriate steps.
The issue is how to transmit that warning to all citizens in the affected area, and how to provide them with meaningful advice that they can put into action. Over recent years, governments worldwide came to the conclusion that current emergency alerts channels such as sirens, radio and TV are no longer sufficient. Authorities need a system that can alert as many people as possible within a given location and provide them with advice and information relevant to where they are.
The mobile phone represents the best channel for relaying this information. Mobile phones are the most ubiquitous communications channel ever and, through text messages, are able to convey the level of detail needed for the public to take action to keep safe.
Cell Broadcast is the most effective method of broadcasting public warning alerts in emergency situations (reverse 112). One message can be sent to millions of devices, instantly, based on subscribers’ location to selected telephone cells. Cell Broadcast therefore enables location-specific emergency alerts without the need to register or track devices. As well as being better for privacy than SMS, this also means that visitors from abroad will also receive alerts, in their own language, if an emergency is imminent.
Also unlike SMS text services, Cell Broadcast has its own dedicated broadcast channel and continues to function even when the network is congested as often happens in emergency situations. This makes Cell Broadcast perfectly suited to public warning. In fact, it is the only viable solution today.
Cell Broadcast has therefore garnered much interest from governments across the world for emergency alerts services (reverse 112) including EU-Alert (Europe), CMAS/WEA (USA), National Message (Israel), LAT-Alert (Chile) as well as the Earthquake Tsunami Warning System (Japan).
Worldwide PWS initiatives
Over recent years, governments worldwide came to the conclusion that current public warning channels such as sirens, radio and TV are no longer sufficient.