Location-based warnings via SMS will become a feature of Australia’s emergency management system this year, with Telstra the first carrier to commit to a system on a national basis. After signing an agreement late last year with the Victoria state government, Telstra is now preparing to build the capability into its network, …
We had a localised SMS warning before Cyclone Yasi...
...and it confused everyone. A text that basically said "Cyclone Yasi is coming. Evacuate now. We're all doomed" is less than helpful. Which direction should people head, north or south? Even more ridiculous is that the cyclone was so big that no one could have driven out of the area unless they were on the margins.
They really need to think this one through a bit more.
So far I've seen 2 uses of this in our shire.... Both epic fails.
One was when the NSW Police violated the Spam Act by sending out a non-emergency SMS to everyone to kindly ask us to be on the look out for a missing elderly man - they gave us his name, but failed to describe him. Not sure if they wanted us to ask every older man if he was the guy or not...
And the other was when they sent out a bulk message to Wee Waa residents telling them to evacuate immediately. Because they only had 3 days before the flood waters got there. And the predicted level put it at least 1/2 way up the levy bank around the town.
They later sent out one stating the previous was a mistake and they didn't need to evacuate - but too late then. They'd already thrown any newer residents into a panic.
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