Earlier today I came across an interesting emergency alert service for residents of Santa Clara County (Silicon Valley), California.
As they state on the "About" page ():
" AlertSCC is a free, easy, and confidential emergency alert service " built on the BlackBoard Connect platform, which is used by counties, " school districts, colleges, and other entities around the country. " The system utilizes telephone voice messages, emails, and text " messages to send alerts. " " The County of Santa Clara has purchased 911 and 411 databases for " the system. Email addresses and phone numbers for mobile devices " must be registered with the system (via this website) to receive " alerts. This alert system is an integral piece of a comprehensive " emergency communications system that the County and cities will " use to communicate with the public during an emergency.
Intrigued, I first examined the Blackboard Connect page:
I then wanted to sign up for the service in my county and was puzzled by the question "SMS telephone number?". A Google search on "SMS telephone number format" revealed this URL:
and then I recognized that was how email can be sent to a cellphone and I had forgotten the format for my carrier, AT&T Wireless, since it's been ages since I setup the servers at work (I'm now retired) to call me whenever overtemp, power outage, and other problems hit the data centers.
I hope the above URL will prove useful to others, but I'm curious why they list Cingular Wireless and Cellular One. In 1992 I signed up with Cellular One for my first cellphone account and I've kept the account all the way through Cingular to AT&T today (with incredible service and what seems a perpetual monthly free 5,000 minutes among other things; no joke: no dropped calls and extremely strong signal anywhere I travel in the SF Bay Area).
Back to the Blackboard Connect: they state on their web pages:
" MASS NOTIFICATION " " The Blackboard Connect service provides millions nationwide " with time-sensitive information ? via voice, text, e-mail and " more. It?s the proven way to alert your stakeholders and enhance " their safety by keeping them informed, involved and prepared.
Anyone here know HOW they can do that without swamping COs and the cellphone service carriers?