We’ve been remiss in posting new articles lately, but we could not let too much time pass without commenting on the use of the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system in Boston in the days after the marathon bombing. As our friend Rick Wimberly discusses on the Alerts and Notifications blog, Massachusetts state officials sent a WEA message as one way of notifying residents of Boston and its suburbs to shelter in place during the manhunt for the suspects. Continue reading »
Almost a year has passed since the roll-out of Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA, previously known as the Commercial Mobile Alert Service, or CMAS). In this time, public safety officials (primarily the National Weather Service) have sent about 3,000 WEA messages to mobile devices. News stories on this new capability are becoming more commonplace, and more WEA-capable mobile devices are coming online. You may have even received a WEA message on your device by now.
Unfortunately, some message recipients have responded to these messages by looking for a way to turn them off—presumably because they do not perceive the alerts to be relevant to them or their local area. They then take to their phone looking for the settings menu where they can opt out of the alerts.
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We saw this announcement that the National Academies of Science will be hosting a workshop “to examine current knowledge and research on geotargeted disaster alerts and warnings” in Washington, DC, February 21-22. According to the posting by the National Academies’ Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, the workshop will bring together prominent researchers in risk communications, public notifications, and emergency management to discuss how more precise geo-targeting could make alerts and warnings more effective. Continue reading »
The “connected car” has been one of most-watched trends in emergency consumer technology. As we’ve reported before, auto manufacturers are increasingly building internet connectivity into their new lines of vehicles, allowing for better access to information and a more convenient—and hopefully safer—driving experience. But as we saw on Fast Company’s CoDesign site, a proposed rule from a Federal transportation agency could push this trend into reality faster than we expected. Continue reading »