Australia: The Victoria government, Australia, signed a deal with Telstra to upgrade the Emergency Alert system to a national location-based phone emergency warning system.
“The current Emergency Alert system provides warnings to landlines and mobile phones based on the customer’s registered service address,” federal emergency management minister, Robert McClelland, said in a statement. “This new location-based solution will send warnings to mobile phones that are physically in an emergency zone when a disaster strikes.”
According to McClelland’s spokesman, the current Emergency Alert system has been crucial during natural disasters since its implementation in 2009. “The system has been used more than 300 times and has sent over seven million warning messages nationally to Australians at times of disaster.”
In December last year, McClelland urged Aussies to comment on a proposed emergency messaging system called Common Alerting Protocol, which will enable emergency messages to be sent out simultaneously over a number of different warning systems including radio, television, smartphones, email and social media.
McClelland also launched the DisasterWatch app for both iPhone and Android smartphones last year, which sends users the latest public information about disaster events via direct feeds from official state, territory and national sources.