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ADSL civil defence alert box and app

Early warning device
  (+7, -2)
(+7, -2)
  [vote for,
against]

The proposal is for a small device with built in battery backup that plugs into an ADSL router via a standard Ethernet jack.

The box is programmed with the URL of a local authority civil defence server, and a post code/ZIP code.

When there is a local emergency (fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, giant mutant radioactive killer ants) the box bleeps loudly and flashes a light.

This means that residents don't have to have their radio, TV or PC powered on to receive a broadcast emergency alert.

There is a corresponding PC app, a messenger-type client that links in to the same URL and can display similar warning information in real time.

Because of the postcode discrimination, only affected areas are alerted.

The units are simple, standardised and produced in their millions to keep the cost down. They are issued free to homeowners, being paid for out of local taxation via the civil defence budget.

When away from home, running the client on your pc with your home postcode can provide updates to inform you if you should return to your property (if there's anything left).

8th of 7, Nov 11 2009

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       I think it'd be good if it ran wireless, just in case telephone lines are knocked out.
bbglas007, Nov 11 2009
  

       The plan would be to issue the alert BEFORE the lines go down.   

       Radio alert systems do already exist, and there are automated telephone calling systems. This is a bit cleverer. No need to answer a ringing phone to hear the alert; speech radio is problematic for the hearing-impaired who are likely to be the most vulnerable. There's minimal investment in infrastructure, just the client modules, and some server software - a one-off build.   

       Units that use 802.11 locally would be possible, so as to have slave units in other parts of the property, but you'd have to pay for those. Only the basic receiver is free-issue.
8th of 7, Nov 12 2009
  

       "You have hail."
FlyingToaster, Nov 12 2009
  

       Also, the current stockpile of nuclear weapons could be put to good use - a stratospheric atmospheric detonation is highly salient. This also has the added advantage of no false alarms. There will be an emergency anyways.
loonquawl, Nov 13 2009
  

       This would be a great everyday application of the amber alert system to counter child disappearances.
imagine002, Nov 13 2009
  

       I knew there was something that was smelly about this idea, but I had to read it a couple of times before I saw this:   

       "They are issued free to homeowners, being paid for out of local taxation"   

       So you want to tax me, spend it on a box and give it back to me? And I'll probably be required to take it and keep it as well. I'll pass. Taxes are a sore subject with me this year.
normzone, Nov 13 2009
  

       Hey, don't put that on us, we voted Republican.
8th of 7, Nov 13 2009
  

       sounds like a cellphone-app, a good one mind: something that would ring you up on it's own to look at the text-message... also available as an always-on PC proggie.
FlyingToaster, Nov 13 2009
  
      
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