Use of SMS for Tsunami Early Warnings at a Table Top Exercise
Tsunamis are one of the most dangerous and destructive natural disasters: countries that experience a tsunami event are likely to undergo, after the immediate destruction of the regions nearby the coast, several secondary effects, for example epidemic outbreaks. Thus, early warning systems able to timely advise the authorities and the population of an imminent tsunami are valuable tools that should be implemented in any coastal region with high risk of seismic events. In this paper we present the experience that we gained during a Table Top exercise aimed at testing the effectiveness of an SMS – based Tsunami Early Warning System (TEWS). SMS showed to be a valuable additional support channel for propagating the alarm, even though some drawbacks were identified e.g. lack of reliability, formal procedures and follow-through training that must be carefully taken in account. Experience gained will be used in an operational exercise scheduled October 2011 and potentially pave the way for including SMS early warning in disaster management.
KeywordsEarly Warning System SMS Tsunami Disaster Management Emergency Response
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