Re: Philadelphia emergency text messaging system [Telecom]

> You know, something struck me in all of this. What if you no longer

>> listen to radio or watch television? I don't do either anymore, >> instead preferring net based video and podcasts.

Lisa Hancock replied:

In the old days there sirens that would go off in an emergency. > Citzens were supposed to tune to a radio station for instructions. > This system peaked in the early 1960s for the cold war and was in > decline since then. I wonder how many cities still bother to have > the sirens. In Phila, they used to test them every Weds at noon. > > Frankly, I think this is a very sensible approach. A network of > powerful sirens is not expensive. (Now the sirens are electronic > instead of mechanical.) Plenty of people aren't 'connected' in any > way. In conjunction with sirens, broadcast radio and TV, cable TV, > and newer media could provide specific instructions. I think almost > everybody still has a basic AM radio.

I still have an AM radio, and WHEN I choose to listen to over-the-air (AM) radio I do. But most of my audio information comes from streaming via the internet, and audio entertainment from internet streaming as well as my own tapes, CDs, DVDs, etc.

But how many pe>> Text messages to cell phones is the next best thing I suppose.

Lisa replied:

Many people have block receipt of text messages.

True -- I have done so as well with at&t (cingular). I NEVER send text messages nor use the functionality. I never have replied to a friend's text message to my cellphone neither. And when I started getting SPAM from alleged investment companies with stock quotes showing up on my cellphone, for which *I* had to pay for, I had cingular (at&t) TURN OFF text messaging completely.

But it isn't completely. AT&T (cingular) can still send "administrative" messages to my cellphone (I've asked that their MARKETING messages STOP an they have). I can still send a request for info on remaining min's in the month on my plan, etc. All of these are SUPPOSED to be at NO charge to me.

In theory, government "emergency" messages could be sent to EVERYONE even they had text messaging turned off otherwise, the cellular company sending these out as "admin" type messages, HOPEFULLY for free, but I won't hold my breath.

I've read elsewhere that the policy regarding government "emergency" cellphone text messages WILL allow an "opt-out". I sure do HOPE so.

This smacks of the (voice-based) so called "reverse 911" that has been discussed here and there in c.d.t (Telecom Digest) in recent months and years. I've heard that opt-out is NOT always an option depending on what each jurisdiction chooses. I can't wait until someone SUES a city or county for violating "Do Not Call" rules or otherwise doesn't allow an upfront "opt-out" of such "reverse 911". The INTENT of such as well as "emergency text messages" to cellphones SOUNDS "good". But there is just TOO MUCH abuse in all other areas, and it will happen here too. And there had better be opt-out, which I WILL choose, if ever my area implements "reverse 911" in my location, or cellular starts "emergency" test messaging in my own cingular (at&t) system.

Not everyone is going to be paying attention to such phone calls or text messaging... not everyone has cellphones to use when not at their home phone (when landline voice calls would be placed "reverse 911"). And not everyone would WANT to be part of such a system. There will still have to be roaving government/police cars with bullhorns or loudspeakers blaring information in REAL extreme emergency situations.

Finally, I do see what goes on outside of my window. If it looks like threatening weather, I'll check, look at local TV, the Weather Channel, or listen to local radio. I don't have one of those dedicated receivers to pick up the VHF-based weather radio frequency (if that even exists anymore, though). But I do NOT need to have some automated system ringing up my phones, nor text messages popping up on my cellphone REGARDLESS of what some government bureaucrat thinks I should hear/see, just because THEY feel that it's "urgent".


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Anthony Bellanga
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It might qualify for an exemption of the DNC rules.

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They are very much active.

About six years ago I was driving back to my farm and noticed a single thunderhead that topped out with an anvil head. All by itself, no other storm around. After I got home, my cellphone got a severe weather WATCH alert. Five minutes later it was a tornado WARNING. I walked all around the house and barn to look for any other storms. Nothing to be seen. Turned on my weather was on the ground at a one stop sign town five miles west of me and moving east.

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