New York City to Pilot Emergency Notification on Cell Phones


Emergency notification systems are best known for their ability to effectively and efficiently communicate necessary information to a large number of people in a short period of time in threatening situations.

In the wake of tragedies like 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, school campus tragedies, and other situations, the need for notification systems has become more and more important.

With this in mind, New York City has announced they plan to pilot a comprehensive emergency notification system for cell phones with cell broadcast technologies

The emergency notification system will make it possible for the public to be alerted of dangers or situations occurring via their cell phones. This will put vital information they need to react accordingly to the situation right in their hands.

Cell broadcast is an advanced technology that provides emergency information via cell phones within minutes of an official alert. The technology taps into a feature included in most cell phones to broadcast the emergency message. The technology is also able to transmit the emergency messages geographically, so even when users are out of their local areas, they will receive an alert for any emergency situation affecting their current location.

Having the systems in place will help to increase life saving measures people can take in these often chaotic situations by keeping the public informed of what is going on and the safest way to handle the situation.

The pilot program is scheduled to begin in early 2008.

CellCast Technologies, offering a cell phone notification solution that uses cell broadcasting, has announced their excitement with the cities decision:

“This emergency notification pilot program is a bold initiative that would have been very beneficial during New York City’s recent steam pipe explosion, subway flooding and air toxins emitted from the Lower Manhattan fire,” said Paul Klein, chief operating officer of CellCast. “In each of these situations, those nearby could have received a cell broadcast alert with directions to safety, even if wireless traffic had crashed the networks.”

New York City as the first major metropolitan area to pilot a comprehensive emergency notification system on cell phones and incorporate advanced cell broadcast technology.

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