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phone disaster system

Everyone in the nation or area is phoned with a message during a dire emergency
  [vote for,

If there was a nuclear missle attack at 3 in the morning then most people would sleep right through their demise. If we had a system that would phone everyone in the nation at the same time and play a warning message then millions would be saved.

There might already be a system like this in place that we don't know about. It could be used for tornado warnings and other disasters too.

jonman, Jan 28 2003

Emergency Alert System receiver, $56 US http://www.waovam.com/eas.htm
This receives those modem-like tones on the Emergency Alert broadcasts on USA radio stations, and turns it into a home signal. [krelnik, Oct 04 2004]

ACCOLC http://www.doh.gov..../refdocs/accolc.doc
Cell overload control [oneoffdave, Oct 04 2004]

[stormo]'s link as a link http://thomas.loc.g...query/z?c108:S.118:
[krelnik, Oct 04 2004]

ADSL civil defence alert box and app ADSL_20civil_20defe...t_20box_20and_20app
Could be rolled out to £G systems using IP [8th of 7, Feb 22 2011]

Standardised Disaster Alert Device Standardised_20Disaster_20Alert_20Device
Another approach [8th of 7, Feb 22 2011]


       Could any nation's telecoms network sustain a simultaneous every-number call?
my face your, Jan 28 2003

       In the UK, British Telecom (to the stunned amazement of 57 milion people) have managed to impement such a system for distributing flood warnings, at the behest of the Environment Agency/National Rivers Authority. I undersatnd that it is acceptably effective. I'm not sure whether it uses a special ring pattern, or tries repeatedly to dial up and give a recorded message. It can be targeted on an area (postcode) basis.
8th of 7, Jan 28 2003

       In BT's case it delivers a message "Due to excessive use, the phone network is about to - "
PeterSilly, Jan 28 2003

       How would I know it's not a prank call? Wouldn't work.
waugsqueke, Jan 28 2003

       so how much warning do we get? what are we supposed to do? time to make a cup of tea? oh leave me in bed thanks.
po, Jan 28 2003

       Every call I make is a disaster.
bristolz, Jan 28 2003

       What happened to CD sirens? (for those of you not of the US, or those in the US under about age 50 or so, CD used to mean "Civil Defense")
lurch, Jan 28 2003

       If they want to talk to me, they can damn well put a request in writing. They have my address.
snarfyguy, Jan 28 2003

       I suppose watching children's television is one way of spending your last few minutes on god's earth.
po, Jan 28 2003

       // [lurch] I thought I was the only one who remembered that CD meant something besides *compact disk*. //   

       Certificate of Deposit, isn't it?
waugsqueke, Jan 28 2003

       might missle you by a mile
po, Jan 28 2003

       But those were just blissmissiles.
FarmerJohn, Jan 28 2003

       <Everyone knows you can outrun a nuclear missile if you know that it's coming.> No, but you can start fucking.
mrthingy, Jan 28 2003

po, Jan 28 2003

       The point is that real estate costs fall to where I can afford some.
lurch, Jan 28 2003

       Baked by the Federal Government in the US. The "Emergency Alert System" (formerly the Emergency Broadcast System) uses broadcast radio stations to automatically relay nation emergency signals to the public. You can hear these directly if you are listening to the radio or watching TV, but there are also receivers that are designed to auto-detect the digital portion of the signal (the modem like tones you hear when they do the "this is a test" thing) and alert you to it even if your radio is off. See link.
krelnik, Jan 28 2003

       I will admit the idea has some logistical flaws. I'd rather know than not know though.   

       //so how much warning do we get? what are we supposed to do? time to make a cup of tea? oh leave me in bed thanks.//   

       Hopefully 15 or 20 minutes of warning. I think I remember hearing that if the (Former) Soviet Union were to launch an attack, it would take 30 minutes for the ICBMs to begin hitting.   

       // Everyone knows you can outrun a nuclear missile if you know that it's coming.. //   

       I live 7 miles from a major city. I'd like to have a 20 minute heads up on an attack, then maybe i'd be able to get 20 miles away from a major city.
jonman, Jan 29 2003

       We get the BT flood warning here and it keeps trying unitl it gets a real person, not a recording. Then it tells me that my house has been washed away.
oneoffdave, Jan 29 2003

       BT amazed me, today. this morning I had no phone connection. I reported the fault at work and was told to do some DIY tricks to reset it because "it costs £50 call-out charge for an engineer". Tonight I get a very nice BT lady asking if everything was now OK. I take back everything I have ever complained about.
po, Jan 29 2003

       krelnik - not baked by EAS, because EAS does not use the existing phone system.   

       Baked by newly proposed legislation to congress: (link above)
stormo, Jan 29 2003

       "Everyone in the nation or area is phoned with a message during a dire emergency" - yeah, like what?   

       "Duck!" ?
"Kiss your sweet ass goodbye!" ?

       On a sober note, I will remind you that during the WTC emergency, both the regular and cell phone systems were jammed, rendering the phones all but useless. Oddly enough, Internet messaging worked fine (as some of you may recall).
DrCurry, Jan 29 2003

       In the UK The Cabinet Office or Police Commander can restrict access to the cell phone system to authorised users in case of emergency [link]. This calling system might mean that ACCOLC is invoked more often.
oneoffdave, Jan 30 2003

       <eh? po, Jan 28 2003>   

       I've just always assumed that in the event of impending nuclear doom, everyone would want to start shagging like crazy before they blow up. Am I wrong?
mrthingy, Jan 30 2003

       [stormo] Well I meant baked in the sense that the goal had been achieved. Using radio has significant advantages, since the telephone system has large amounts of infrastructure that could already have been destroyed by the very disaster one is warning about. (Note DrCurry's anno). Radio is broadcast simultaneously to everyone, and therefore gets the word out faster---phone calls would take far, far longer. (Especially since no phone system is designed to handle the case of everyone being on the phone at once).   

       Oh, and please use the [link] function for links.
krelnik, Jan 30 2003

       "Could any nation's telecoms network sustain a simultaneous every-number call?"   

       Probably not, but the networks could target those who are in immediate danger (closest to the predicted strike zone, terrorist activity, directly in the path of an impending tornado, whatever) and call those numbers first, then call others based on how close they are to the impending emergency
Dickcheney6, Feb 22 2011

       Uh, see the second anno, the one directly following the one you quoted...
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 22 2011

       The major effect of this would be to completely clog the roads so no emergency vehicles can get into the affected area.   

       About the only disasters that last minute warnings are both possible and useful for are tornados (if a storm cellar is available) and tsunami (if last minute is assumed to be at least 20+). The latter is better served by alert sirens since it's limited in area, and likely to need to reach people not by a phone, and the former is very localized.
MechE, Feb 22 2011


       Why isn't there a sort of national (or regional) radio warning system, working in a similar way to traffic warnings? My car radio can be set to turn on (or to interrupt another programme) with traffic news. It could presumably be made with a default setting to turn on to broadcast emergency warnings. Domestic radios could be made to do the same, as long as the system were used only regionally, and only when completely necessary.   

       (and, [MechE], I disagree. Flood warnings can be made hours in advance and allow people to save possessions or themselves; I imagine similar warnings would work for forest fires in many cases).
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 22 2011

       I agree hours of warning make sense, minutes do not. This idea strongly implies only minutes.
MechE, Feb 22 2011

       "Could any nation's telecoms network sustain a simultaneous every-number call?"   

       Yes. If it is a same prerecorded warning message to every number from exchange, it should be possible.
VJW, Feb 22 2011

       I dunno. If someone told me I had two minutes before a tsunami struck, I think I would have time to grab my mobile phone and run 200 metres, which would put me signifcantly higher.   

       On the other hand, as I live 60 miles inland, I might ask first if they had the right number.   

       In fact, I can think of very few disasters where a 2 minute warning might not considerably increase my chances of survival. A direct nuclear hit would be one such exception, but I have a nice hole in the ground which would probably save me from having my eyeballs melted if the strike were five miles away.   

       If nothing else, I could go with a glass of wine raised to my lips.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 22 2011

       How do you deter your glass-raiser from running away ?
8th of 7, Feb 22 2011

       We have a policy in the Buchanan lineage - never ask a man to do something you can't do yourself.   

       This is one of the main reasons why our dairy herd is one of the few in the country not to use artificial insemination.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 22 2011

       A two minute warning would be wonderful for earthquakes, but we haven't figured that one out yet. The same applies to many man-made disasters including building collapse.   

       Wildfire and flood are usually both ammenable to much longer advanced warning, and longer warning is required. Ditto hurricane/cyclone/typhoon.   

       Two minute warning would help with flash flood and tornado, but acurately targetting the warning would be difficult (if people were woken up to often when the tornado hits the next county over, they're going to turn off their phone). I'll admit flash flood due to dam breaking or similar is one possible use.   

       Even the 15 minutes that was predicted for a nuclear attack is only going to be useful if you're right on the edge of the attack zone, and any sort of evacuation is likely to turn into instant grid-lock if everyone is warned.
MechE, Feb 22 2011

       // if everyone is warned. //   

       "If". And thus it follows that a system is required that warns only the worthy and the deserving .....
8th of 7, Feb 22 2011

       //Even the 15 minutes that was predicted for a nuclear attack is only going to be useful if you're right on the edge of the attack zone//   

       Actually, if it's a fission bomb (anyone still use those?), the kill radius of the blast is going to be a few miles (worry about fallout another day). I live a couple of miles outside the nearest targettable city. If we all get a fifteen minute warning, I'm in my jag and ten miles down a country lane long before the hordes from the city have even get outside the ringroad. Even if my nearest neighbour hits the road first in his tractor and I tailgate him all the way, the paint on my rear bumper will barely get blistered.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 22 2011

       [MB] You have a lot better faith in 50 year old Soviet targetting systems than I do. Half the reason for the massive overkill approach was to make sure at least one hit the target.
MechE, Feb 22 2011

       Yeah, I worried about that.   

       I think the West ought to give its most advanced guidance systems to the Russians, Germans, Iranians, Pakistanis...
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 22 2011

       //We have a policy in the Buchanan lineage - never ask a man to do something you can't do yourself.// Very wise, the ancestor, who phrased it "ask a man" rather than "ask someone."
mouseposture, Feb 23 2011


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