[LINK] Canberra Emergency Warnings About Factory Fire

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Sat Sep 17 10:07:19 AEST 2011

On 16/09/11 08:37, Alex (Maxious) Sadleir wrote:
> I got the test message a while back but not today. Perhaps they are
> using a list of subscribers and a commercial SMS gateway ...

Yes. This is an Australia wide system called "Emergency Alert": 

It uses the subscribers billing address and sends a voice message for 
landlines and SMS for mobile phones. Both my home and billing addresses 
for the mobile phone are within the area for the Canberra fire 
emergency, but I received no message.

> The Japanese earthquake warning system (which is naturally very time and location
> sensitive) uses the SMS Cell Broadcast technique for it's mobile phone
> leg. ...

Yes, when I visited the Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research 
Institute in Istanbul, I was told that they can give about a 20 second 
warning of an earthquake. This is sufficient time to slow trains, close 
the floodgates on the Marmaray railway tunnel under the Bosphorus and 
stop lifts at the next floor. But this requires the warnings be issued 
automatically (although they do have a "red phone" to call the prime 
minister as well).

I suggested using Cell Broadcast in Australia, but there are some 
technical problems with it: 

> Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Simon Corbell is saying on
> the radio right now (8.30am) that there is a "performance report" for
> any activation of the emergency alert system and he will be receiving
> that this afternoon.

It will be interesting to read the report tomorrow, when the Minister 
makes it public.

Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards 

Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Research School of Computer Science,
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/

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