As mobile adoption rates continue to surge globally, television and radio announcements along with traditional tornado sirens and other public emergency distress signals may get some company in the form of SMS messages blasted out to mobile devices.
According to a fast-growing contingency of public safety officials, mobile devices are the ultimate gateway to alerting the public of dangers heading their way. From inclement weather to potential terror attacks, the public – experts contend – must be targeted where they are most accessible. And that’s now on their mobile devices.
In Australia, for example, SMS public emergency alerts are already being deployed by local governments.
Over the weekend, the Victorian Government began testing location-based technology to send emergency alerts to all mobile phones.
During the tests, text messages will be sent to mobile phones on the Optus, Vodafone and Telstra networks. The system, which was a recommendation from the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, will be tested in nine locations across metropolitan and regional Victoria.
According to ABC News, the State Government says the messages indicated they are test messages and no action is required.
If the current trend continues, SMS-based public emergency announcements may be standard in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world by the end of the decade.