Working together for a resilient Birmingham.

Government Pilot of Mobile Phone Emergency Text Messages

The government is piloting a new national emergency alerting system in the UK working with mobile phone operators O2, Vodafone and EE.  Three locations have been selected for the pilot.  These pilot areas are Easingwold in North Yorkshire, Leiston in Suffolk, and Glasgow City Centre.  The pilot will review how the public responds to text emergency messages sent to mobile phones before a decision on extending the system is made.   A report on the findings will come out in early 2014.  Similar systems are available in other countries such as Australia and US.  For more information on the national emergency text system click here. An article is available on the BBC website.

In Birmingham, we already maintain a free service for members of the public (for residents and businesses) to sign up to receive emergency messages known as ‘Birmingham Community Alert’.  This is a local system operated by Birmingham City Council which has been in place for a number of years.  The system allows messages to be sent not only as text messages to mobile phones but also email and voice messages to both landline and mobile phones based on an individual’s preferences.  Birmingham Community Alert messages have been sent on a number of occasions to provide information to the public in regard to ongoing local incidents affecting Birmingham such as large scale fires.  Registration is based on post codes and therefore when messages are sent out these can be tailored so they are only sent to those people within the affected area.  Feedback on the system has been very positive.  For more information on Birmingham Community Alert and details of how to register for the service click here

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