On Wednesday October 3, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) sent a “Presidential Alert” to mobile phones across the United States as a test of the country’s wireless emergency alert system. This nation-wide wireless emergency alert system was started in 2012 and has been used by local governments to send alerts for extreme weather warning, natural disasters and missing children. Wednesday’s message, however, was the system’s first nation-wide testing of the system. The messages sent by the system are limited to 90 characters currently, with plans to expand to 360 characters.
The Presidential Alerts are authorized by the President or a designated representative and sent by FEMA. The messages are routed to wireless carriers through an on-line system called the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System.
Click anywhere on this post for a Washington Post article on this test.
Delivering emergency messages, whether the messages are being delivered nation-wide by a federal government, or delivered regionally by a state or provincial government is continued recognition and validation that sending emergency messages for security and safety matters, natural disasters, extreme weather warnings, etc. has value. Delivering messages throughout a nation or to specific regions, is essentially a macro use of mobile messaging. iSIGN’s Security Alert Messaging (“SAM”) solution is a micro use in that the messaging can be far more localized and faster to deliver as messages are sent by the specific location that the message is about, without having to go through the mobile wireless carriers.
Based upon the feedback from our resellers, they look upon this test as government validation for delivering emergency messages to mobile phones. Our resellers clearly see the need for SAM at any location where the public gathers, be it a shopping mall, government office, transportation hub, office building, school, etc. and for SAM’s use in a Smart City initiative.