[LINK] Canberra Emergency Warnings About Factory Fire

Alex (Maxious) Sadleir maxious at gmail.com
Thu Sep 22 11:37:26 AEST 2011

On Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 8:24 AM, Tom Worthington
<tom.worthington at tomw.net.au> wrote:
> Media reports indicated that the warning message contained spelling
> mistakes and some residents therefore concluded they were a hoax. This
> is a serious problem which needs to be investigated after the current
> emergency is over. Such messages need to be composed from pre-prepared
> and tested templates, not ad-hoc. In 2003 one of my students
> investigated what was needed for credible emergency communications:
> http://web.archive.org/web/20051024000955/http://www.watersprite.com.au/%7Eshelby/emweb/emweb_final_report.pdf

The minister has made a statement on this issue in the assembly:
(pages 12 and 13)

> The template of the voice message requires the originator to submit words in writing spelt phonetically to ensure that words will be pronounced correctly when the system automatically converts text to voice. The phonetic spelling was inadvertently also inserted into the text messages when they were issued.
[American pronounciation? Primitive system?]

> On preliminary analysis it also appears there were a large number of fixed landline services identified in the target area of the second warning that were not contacted. This was a result of insufficient time being allocated to allow the Emergency Alert System to dial all of the numbers in the target area. The timing allocated is operator defined and future use of Emergency Alert will consider ensuring more time is allowed for a campaign to be completed.

More information about the Link mailing list