March 18, 2003
War alerts by SMS
The Kuwaiti government is planning to send out free text alerts on war related announcements, from a reliable source (unless the enemy takes over the cellular operator), to inform citizens and dispel rumors. According to one distributor for Nokia phones in the region, this policy has caused a rush to buy cell phones, according to an article in Gizmodo.
In February, as reported in the BBC, an SMS City Alert was launched in London, «The City Alert Texting System» (C.A.T.S.), designed as a means of getting vital and important information to members of the general public in major urban areas in seconds, in the event of an emergency or incident that requires immediate action or even evacuation. The first alert is to be followed by a plan of action message that lets people know what they should do next.
Brits can sign up to the commercial service using the postcode of the areas in which they live and work. So far operational in London, full coverage all over the UK should be reached shortly.
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