How NDRRMC issues its emergency mobile warnings


Ever wondered why you get multiple alerts in a day or why they’re sometimes delayed? Here’s why.

MANILA, Philippines – Every year, around 20 tropical cyclones visit the country, on top of rains from the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat, as well as thunderstorms that are all too common during the rainy season.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) wants citizens to be informed about what to expect and what they must do during disasters, that’s why it issues emergency mobile alerts.

The NDRRMC and telecommunications companies are required by law to send free mobile alerts before disasters happen. This is mandated under Republic Act No. 10639 or the Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act.

NDRRMC 24/7 Operations Center Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Aimee Menguilla said in an interview with Rappler, “These alerts, if you already know your area, you know the characteristics of where you live, this EAWM (emergency alert and warning message) is just a reminder to the people of what you’re supposed to do.”

How it works: As soon as the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) issues an advisory, the NDRRMC drafts a message to send to telcos, who in turn sends this to their customers.

If you’re wondering why you receive multiple messages in a day, here’s why. For rainfall warnings, the NDRRMC sends separate mobile alerts for PAGASA’s orange and red warnings. (READ: How to use PAGASA’s color-coded rainfall advisory)

PAGASA’s orange rainfall warning means intense rainfall has been observed for an hour and is expected to continue for the next two hours. Menguilla said this gives the message a time frame of about 3 hours as rainfall is expected to continue over this period of time.

On the other hand, a red rainfall warning means torrential rainfall has been observed for an hour and is expected to continue for the next two hours.

ALERTS. The NDRRMC sends mobile alerts based on PAGASA rainfall warnings.

ALERTS. The NDRRMC sends mobile alerts based on PAGASA rainfall warnings.

Menguilla also said emergency warnings may be based on advisories of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on earthquakes and volcanic activity.

It takes up to 10 minutes to draft an alert message and send it to telcos.

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“We translate it into those short messages so the description of the message is hazard-specific, area-focused, and time-bound,” Menguilla said.

Delay problems: Citizens have reported receiving delayed warnings. For instance, a mobile alert received at 9:17 pm was for a PAGASA rainfall warning issued at 4 pm. That’s a delay of more than 5 hours, and by that time, a new warning would’ve been issued already.

What causes this? It’s largely due to the limitations of mobile devices and messaging systems, the NDRRMC said.

According to NDRRMC Information and Communications Technology OIC Kelvin Ofrecio, two types of message broadcast systems are used to send alerts: short messaging system (SMS) and cell broadcast service (CBS).

CBS is faster because it can send messages to cellphones based on subscribers’ location, to pre-arranged cell sites. It also enables location-specific alerts without the need to register cellphones.

DELAYED. At times, alerts are received hours after they are issued, leaving citizens with delayed emergency warnings.

DELAYED. At times, alerts are received hours after they are issued, leaving citizens with delayed emergency warnings.

Unfortunately, not all mobile phones are equipped with this feature.

“We are implementing both types of systems. Siyempre, bawat system, merong limitation ‘yung technology (Of course, both systems have limitations in their technology),” Ofrecio said.

He added in Filipino: “CBS is used in other countries. It’s instantaneous because recipients can receive alerts within 3 to 5 seconds after telcos send them. However, we cannot fully implement this as not all handsets are compliant with the cell broadcast feature.”

Given this limitation, the NDRRMC and telcos resort to SMS to send alerts, which takes much more time as messages are sent “point-to-point” unlike CBS’ “point-to-multiple-point” system.

Ofrecio explained in Filipino: “What happens is, if the NDRRMC sends a red rainfall warning alert to Bulacan, and in that area, there are two million subscribers for example, there will be two million seconds of queuing time because it is point-to-point.”

If you’re one of those who received warnings hours after they were issued, Ofrecio said chances are those warnings were sent via SMS rather than through CBS.

Moving forward: Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes to delayed warnings at the moment, since not all phones are CBS-compliant.

It could also be the case that CBS is turned off by default in mobile phone settings.

Telcos earlier clarified that some older phones, even those made more than 15 years ago, are capable of receiving cell broadcast messages. But this feature could be turned off by default.

Ofrecio also urged the public to check if emergency alerts are enabled in their mobile phone settings.

For Android users, you can go to messaging settings and look for Emergency Alerts or Cell Broadcast. For iOS users, update to the latest version of the operating system, go to Settings, then Notifications, and scroll down to turn on Emergency Alerts.

If you’re annoyed by the alerts, you can always turn them off. But be aware that doing so carries with it great risks too. – Rappler.com

 

 

Source: https://www.rappler.com/move-ph/issues/disasters/208117-how-ndrrmc-issues-emergency-warnings-mobile-alerts

 

Smart provides communications equipment to support disaster preparedness efforts


Philippines’ mobile operator Smart Communications has provided communications equipment to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). The government disaster agency can now access Smart’s Emergency Cell Broadcast System (ECBS) and use it to quickly send public warnings to mobile phone users in specific areas.

The ECBS is designed to send urgent messages, such as evacuation notices and earthquake and tsunami warnings to activated mobile devices within the affected area. According to Smart, cell broadcast is effective in disseminating quick hazard alerts because it operates on a radio channel separate from those used by voice calls and text messages or SMS, which may get congested in times of calamities.

NDRRMC, the National Telecommunications Commission, and Smart, launched ECBS on a trial basis in March 2017. It has since been used to broadcast quick alerts during typhoons and post-earthquake situations. Most recently, ECBS messages were sent to Albay residents in the wake of the eruption of the Mayon Volcano. During this trial period, the alert messages were sent by the NDRRMC to Smart which then transmitted the messages. With the turnover, NDRRMC personnel will be trained on how to use the equipment to send out messages themselves, Smart also said.

 

Source: https://www.telecompaper.com/news/smart-provides-communications-equipment-to-support-disaster-preparedness-efforts–1247865

Activating your mobile phone’s emergency alerts feature


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Now you can get free emergency alerts on your mobile phone when you’re within a disaster or emergency zone. Here’s how to enable this feature:

A. To activate for Android phones

  1. Open your Messages app, tap Settings.
  2. Look for Emergency AlertsCell Broadcast or Wireless Alerts options. Tap or slide the switch to turn it on.

Note: For some versions, you may go to SettingsMore, then Emergency Broadcasts. If you are asked to add specific ID, define or input Channel 728.

B. To activate for iOS

  1. Go to Settings, then Notifications.
  2. Scroll down to find AMBER Alerts, Emergency Alerts, and Test Message. Tap or slide to activate.

Note: For iOS, you would need to update to its latest version (iOS 10.2 and up, carrier version SMART 27.1).

How is this all possible?

Smart Communications has invested in cell broadcast technology which allows Smart’s users within a specified location to receive timely and accurate warnings from authorized government sources in times of calamities or threats. During emergencies or calamities, mobile users should receive an emergency alert – a very loud siren-like sound will go off with a corresponding message about the emergency flashed onscreen.

Smart Communications has made it possible for agencies like Philippine Institute of Volcanic and Seismology (PHILVOLCS), the Natural Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), as well as the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) to send free warning alerts straight to Smart users’ mobile phones in accordance to RA No 10649 of 2014 aka the Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act.

Watch this video to learn more:

Emergency Cell Broadcast Activation Instructions for Specific Devices:

Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime
1. Go to Messages
2. Select More
3. Select Settings
4. Select More settings
5. Select Cell broadcast
6. Click On to activate

MyPhone My21
1. Go to Messages
2. Click Options
3. Select Cell Broadcasts
4. Click on Options
5. Select Settings
6. Select SIM 1
7. Check the Cell Broadcast SMS enabled

Alcatel OT 4032-E Pop C2
1. Go to Messages
2. Click on Options
3. Select Settings
4. Select General
5.Click on Cell Broadcast
6. Select Cell Broadcast (Enable cell broadcast)

O+ 360 Alpha
1. Click on Messages
2. Press on Options
3. Select Settings
4. Select General
5. Click on Cell broadcast
6. Select on cell broadcast (Enable cell broadcast)

Samsung GT-S3850
1. Select Messages
2. Press on Options
3. Select Settings
4. Click Broadcast messages
5. Press Activation

SAMSUNG GT-E1272
1. Click on Menu
2. Select Messages
3. Press Broadcast Messages
4. Select Settings
5. Press On in Activation

Moto G4 Plus
1. Go to Settings, then under Wireless and Networks, tap on More
2. Go to Emergency Broadcasts
3. Make sure the following items are ticked on the settings. Also, you may configure the notification settings
when you receive a cell broadcast.

Oppo F3
1. Go to Settings
2. Select Messages
3. Click Advanced
4. Go to Cell Broadcast
5. Disclaimer appears. Click on “Agree”
6. Press Settings
7. Click on Cell Information Activation

Huawei Mate 8
1. Select Messages
2. Press More
3. Select Cell Broadcasts
4. Click Menu
5. Go to Settings

LG G6
1. Select Services
2. Click Cell Broadcast
3. Click on Options
4. Press Settings
5. Click Cell Broadcast service to enable

Acer Z530
1. Select Messages
2. Click on Options
3. Select Settings
4. Click on General
5. Select Cell broadcast
6. Check Enable cell broadcast

Samsung J3 2016
1. Select Messages
2. Click More
3. Select Settings
4. Select More Settings
5. Click Cell broadcast
6. Click On

Samsung Galaxy S8
1. Go to Messages.
2. Tap the 3 dots on the rightmost part
of the Search bar.
3. Tap Settings > More settings > Broadcast channels.
4. Enable or switch On Cell Broadcast.
5. Tap “Select channels” then select “All channels”

Samsung Galaxy S7
1. Go to Messages.
2. Tap the 3 dots on the rightmost part
of the Search bar.
3. Tap Settings > More settings > Cell broadcast
4. Enable or switch On Cell Broadcast.
5. Tap “Select channels” then select “All channels”

Starmobile PLAY Click
1. Go to Messages.
2. Tap More button (3 dots on the upper right).
3. Tap Cell broadcasts then tap the 3 dots on the upper right.
4. Tap Settings then tap CARD1.
5. Tick “Enable Cell Broadcast SMS”

Starmobile Diamond X1
1. Go to Messaging.
2. Tap Options > Settings > Cell broadcast
3. Tick “Cell broadcast” to enable cell broadcast

HUAWEI Y7
1. Go to Messaging > Cell broadcasts
2. Tap More button (3 dots on the upper right then tap Settings).

O+ Crunch
1. Go to Messaging.
2. Tap More button (3 dots on the upper right).
3. Tap Cell broadcasts then tap More button (3 dots on the upper right).
4. Tap Settings then tap the SIM Card inserted.
5. Tick “Enable Cell Broadcast SMS”

LENOVO A1000
1. Go to Message.
2. Tap More button (3 dots on the upper right).
3. Tap Cell broadcasts then tap More button (3 dots on the upper right).
4. Tap Settings then tap the SIM Card inserted.
5. Tick “Enable Cell Broadcast SMS”

 

Fonte: https://help.smart.com.ph/article/activating-your-mobile-phone-s-emergency-alerts-feature

Fonte: https://twitter.com/kennetuv/status/882865209785724928

Smart deploys cell broadcast technology, complies with RA 10639


Smart Communications has successfully tested its cell broadcast technology recently in key areas of the Philippines, including the National Capital Region (NCR). This is in compliance with Republic Act 10639 or “The Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act,” which mandates telecoms services providers to send free mobile alerts during times of calamities.

Smart CBC Test Broadcast

“Unlike SMS or text services, cell broadcast technology has its own dedicated channel, ensuring sustained broadcast alerts even when the network receives heavy traffic from all the calls and messages made during disasters. This makes it a viable platform solution for a mobile-based alert system,” said Ramon R. Isberto, Head of Public Affairs at PLDT and Smart. “We encourage everyone to configure their mobile devices so that they can receive emergency alerts in the future.”

The company invested about P500 million in this messaging platform to enable the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and Phivolcs to quickly send alert messages to mobile phone users in specific areas facing natural calamities or other emergencies.

Shown in photo during a presentation of Smart’s new cell broadcast service, from left, are Deputy Commissioner Edgardo V. Cabarios, Deputy Commissioner Delilah F. Deles, Commissioner Gamaliel A. Cordoba, Ramon R. Isberto, head of Smart Public Affairs; Atty. Joel Peneyra of PLDT Regulatory Group, and NTC Regulation Chief Engr. Imelda R. Walcien.

Fonte: http://smart.com.ph/About/newsroom/press-releases/2017/01/27/smart-deploys-cell-broadcast-technology-complies-with-ra-10639?utm_content=buffer7cc06&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer