[aprssig] Cell phone and Pager alerts

Rich Mulvey aprs at mulveyfamily.com
Tue Jan 31 15:34:07 EST 2006

Brian Webster wrote:

>What's not wrong with this. As I have heard it described it is just an
>extension of the EAS system and gives emergency managers another way to get
>the word out to as many people in an effected area as possible. I doubt it
>will be any security threat as it will be outputting information that has
>already been released to the mainstream media. It just provides timely
>release of information to people who might not be glued to a TV or radio
>that is listening to local channels. Now that we are in the days of XM radio
>and Direct TV, more and more people are not listening to anything local. I
>have my doubts as to how well it works as a phone dialing mechanism. I don't
>think you can get timely information out dialing one phone at a time.

   As someone who lives in an area where cell capacity can't keep up 
with subscribers, I can just imagine how this works.

1)  An emergency occurs
2)  The system sends out alerts to thousands of cell phones, all at once.
3)  All of the cells become overloaded, and the calls drop.
4)  People start hearing about the emergency through other means - 
radio, TV, the net - and start calling up their loved ones.  Well, they 
try to.
5)  All of the people who really need to be contacted - doctors, 
firefighters, emergency responders - can't be contacted, because most of 
the calls are being dropped by the overloaded system.

- Rich

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