Disaster Alert Systems
This section of our technical library presents articles written about Emergency Alert Systems and Disaster Recovery definitions, terms and related information.
The 911Broadcast emergency notification and alert service can deliver a large number of phone calls using a network of phone systems employing digital phone lines simultaneously. Should a disaster such as a snow storm, wild fire or flood hit your area, 911Broadcast systems can alert your community quickly providing specific instructions if an evacuation is required.
This service is available using our emergency broadcasting systems. If a dangerous chemical spill occurs in your community, you can target specific areas to call. If a severe snow storm hits your area, your community can be notified of school closings or event cancellations.
Earthquake Warning Systems
In an article from discovery.com entitled "Alert System May Have Cut Tsunami Losses", the death rate associated with the latest tsunami in the Pacific could have been greatly reduced with technology and communications available today.
In this article (author unknown) it was stated: "An alert system similar to the one in place around the Pacific could have helped reduce the losses caused by the tidal waves that hit South Asian countries in the Indian Ocean this weekend, a U.N. agency said Monday.
"A key lesson to be learned from this disaster is the importance of early warning systems in reducing people's risk and vulnerability," said Salvano Briceno, head of the United Nation's International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.
"A simple and timely message can go a long way and can mean the difference between life and death, not to mention between economic survival and ruin," he added in a statement.
Early warnings for tsunamis — sea surges caused by earthquakes — have existed in the Pacific Basin since 1948, but a similar system does not exist in the Indian Ocean.
The U.N. disaster agency said that South Asian countries in the Indian Ocean were caught off guard and ill-prepared for waves up to ten meters (30 feet) high, which were caused by the strongest earthquake measured worldwide in 40 years.
In contrast, coastal villages on the Pacific side were more aware of what measures to take when the sea recedes after an earthquake, while signs on beaches there warned of the risk of a sudden return wave, said the agency.
However, U.N. relief officials said Monday that there would have been little chance of giving adequate warning after Sunday's earthquake, which registered 9.0 on the Richter scale.
"We were told that it would have been impossible to predict at that time. That's what we have heard from specialists, that it was very difficult if not impossible to predict," U.N. Assistant Emergency Relief Coordinator Yvette Stevens told journalists.
An international disaster assessment team on its way to Sri Lanka will include a Chinese seismologist, who will try to allay local fears about the likelihood of another tidal wave, a U.N. official said.
Lalith Weeratunga, an aide to Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Rajpakse and the country's top relief coordinator, said the country had been complacent in its reaction to floods in June last year, which claimed 255 lives.
"Even after that, we had not learnt a lesson," he said. "We have to rethink the entire disaster preparedness strategy."
The United Nations is organizing a World Conference on Disaster Reduction next month in Japan to try to boost measures aimed at preventing or minimizing the impact of earthquakes, floods and other natural catastrophes.
Earthquakes - Emergency Dialers For Earthquake Alerts
Should an earthquake strike in your area, our phone service could help notify your community quickly with emergency instructions. With our emergency notification phone service, emergency warning messages can be broadcast to thousands of households in your community.
Messages can be simultaneously delivered in just minutes using our network of phone systems and services.
Pre-recorded warning messages can be played giving households information regarding the earthquake location and whether a community evacuation is planned or necessary.
You can send a broadcast warning to specific neighborhoods or communities in the event of an earthquake and provide priority delivery of these messages to those nearest the earthquake epicenter. Multiple messages can be delivered to different members of the community based upon proximity to the disaster.
Calls can be directed to operators that are standing by to handle special individual emergencies.
Messages can also be broadcast seeking volunteers or special assistance from emergency personnel.
Other applications include warning residents in a geographic area when the danger associated with the results or aftershock of an earthquake is at a high level. Travel and activity restrictions can likewise be broadcast using this service.
Earthquake alert messages sent to households in this fashion can be simple warnings with specific or general instructions. If the community needs feedback from the call, an interactive response can be programmed into the message allowing the person to either acknowledge the call or to contact someone. Messages can vary based upon proximity to the event, with different degrees of broadcast warning and instructions.
To learn more about our earthquakes warning and emergency response / disaster recovery phone service, please visit our Emergency Broadcast System web page.