Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Disaster Prep: Text-Messaging in SF

San Francisco is starting a program that allows residents to register to receive text messages in the event of a disaster:

Oct. 17 - San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced the launch of AlertSF, a new text-message alert system for the public coordinated through the Department of Emergency Management. In the event of a large earthquake or natural disaster, the new system will provide emergency information and alerts to registered users.
This seems a very sensible approach to emergency communications. In the aftermath of a disaster, you don't know what's going to work. After Katrina, there were almost no communications. After 9/11, some communications systems worked; others didn't (mainly due to the fact that a major Verizon station was right across the street from the WTC, and a telecom hotel was just a few blocks away.)

The more channels that are available, the better your chances of getting the message out.

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