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Cell Phone Tsunami Warning

Cell Phone Emergency Warning System
  (+12, -1)(+12, -1)
(+12, -1)
  [vote for,

A public Emergency system that would ring all the cell phones in a precise area (cell), and blather a recorded warning.

In a case like the Dec 2004 Asian Tsunami, such a system could save lives. Cell phones are everywheres. Tourists have them.

_Arthur, Jan 08 2005


       Baked in DC for "terrorist attacks." Uses text messaging
contracts, Jan 08 2005

       I consider Arthur's idea to be good and separate from the terrorist application, though quite similar. Arthur's idea would never bake without someone having the idea to apply the technology to the Tsunami.   

       Probably, though, one business should specialize in collecting and distributing the types of warnings customers care about and can select.
Mustardface, Jan 08 2005

       Cell phones are very popular in Asia so this would probably work well +.
bristolz, Jan 08 2005

       Except in the Indian ocean, there is no means to detect the tsumani in the first place.
waugsqueke, Jan 09 2005

       Great Idea! You would want to be able to break in to a cell phone conversation with the emergency message. Some people were probably calling friends and relatives to tell them to come down to the shore and see how the tide had suddenly gone out.... . .
hangingchad, Jan 09 2005

       Imagine being in a quiet movie theater and suddenly every cell phone rings at once...
robinism, Jan 09 2005

       Beats being in a quiet movie theater and suddenly a wall of water crashes through the screen...
DrCurry, Jan 09 2005

       if everyone was to receive a message at once, the system would clog, and the problem would be compounded with today's current digital cell networks.   

       When Seattle had their earthquake a few years back, we felt it quite strongly in Vancouver, BC, and no calls could get through on any lines (cell or landline) for ages.   

       It's common emergency procedure to ask people not to call an effected area immediately following a disaster unless their help is needed.   

       Incidentally, subscribing to a service like CNN's text message alert would perform the same function, since it seems CNN almost knows about things before they happen with their reporters in every corner of the globe.
Giblet, Jan 09 2005

       // if everyone was to receive a message at once, the system would clog, and the problem would be compounded with today's current digital cell networks.//   

       I'm not up on cell phone tech. but it seems possible that future cell phones could have circuitry that would allow all phones serviced by a cell to be addressed by a master key or number and all simulltaneously receive the message. i.e. one call made to many phones. As far as the network was concerned this would be one call.
hangingchad, Jan 09 2005

       Fishermen with cell phones. I like.
nomadic_wonderer, Jan 09 2005

       I suppose local governments would like this approach, for budgetary reasons, because it cost "nothing" to order the phone companies to develop such emergency system. So it cost them much less that installing and maintaining loudspeakers on every street corner.   

       Of course, other warning systems, TV, Radio, Police should also be used.
_Arthur, Jan 09 2005

       As far as the server sending the message to the group list, it would be one transaction, but it still has to get sent to each individual phone number at one point.   

       The circuitry has nothing to do with it. Each phone is identified by the network as a unique number. When you send a message to an email list, a server at some point along the line has to indivudually send all the messages. It works the same with SMS.   

       And even if our systems can handle it in the future, they can't right now.   

       Relying on a complex network infrastructure during a disaster makes as much sense as painting an x on the bottom of your boat to mark a good fishing spot.
Giblet, Jan 09 2005

       Future phones could have a function where they automatically play a prerecorded message when they recieve a particular text message. Mostly this would just require some standardization; many phone are alrady capapble of playing specific mp3s for specific callers.   

       For announcements, a new mode could be established for low quality one way calls, using less bandwidth.   

       Another option would be to start adding AM radios to the phones.   

       In the meantime, perhaps the cell phone network could lock out for a few minutes, during which time they would place a series of short calls to their users.
tiromancer, Jan 09 2005

       What would be really great is if those people who are at the most risk actually had cell phones, or televisions, or radios. They would probably also enjoy clean water supplies and reliable crops, but I guess that might be pushing it a little bit.
ato_de, Jan 09 2005


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