Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment & Management (PSAM)
20 Using Cell Broadcast in Citizens Warning: Characteristics of Messages (PSAM-0236)
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In life-threatening emergencies, citizens need to be warned. The currently used method for citizens warning in The Netherlands is the use of a siren. Modern telecommunication technologies have great potential for informing the public. Especially the use of text-based features of mobile phones is considered for this function. Advantages of such a system are that these technologies overcome problems of hearing the siren and that text-based messages provide possibilities for giving more and more detailed information.
In a number of pilot studies, Delft University of Technology has gained experience with the possibilities of using mobile phone technologies for citizens warning services. Up to this moment these studies have focused on the technological potential in terms of the percentage of population which can be reached, some technological deficiencies of the systems in development as well as acceptance of the new warning system by the public. However, an effective introduction of a new warning system requires more than overcoming the technological challenges. This paper discusses research into what information should be given to citizens in case of an emergency. What kind of information do people want to receive in an emergency and what kind of messages are understood best by citizens are the questions that will be answered in research that is being carried out at this moment by the Safety Science Group of Delft University of Technology. This paper will describe the method of research, some preliminary results and some indications for further research that will be carried out in the first half of 2006. This research described in this paper is part of a number of large scale pilots in which the use of cell broadcast is studied in the Netherlands. The Safety Science Group is involved in the evaluation of these pilots.