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Warning system for all crisis situations

Research partners put a new public warning system through its paces in a test run

Since 2011, eleven research teams from six European countries have been looking into the fastest and most effective ways of warning the public in the event of a crisis situation.

The Alert4All solution is a new public warning system emerging from an EU project of the same name, and numerous representatives from crisis management organizations and industry partners were on hand to witness the system’s successful test run.

Natural disasters do not respect political boundaries. To deal effectively with this kind of crisis situation, alerts need to reach the affected areas in a seamless, cross–border way. This is exactly what Alert4All does. Eleven research teams from six European countries taking part in the Alert4All project spent over three years developing a system capable of getting alerts out to people across national borders through many different media in a variety of languages. The system allows new alert channels to be added at any time and can send out fully automated, multilingual notifications to the general public.

In mid-October, the project consortium demonstrated Alert4All live for the first time to those who stand to benefit directly from this new solution. Numerous representatives from crisis management organizations and industry partners seized the opportunity to try out the system’s array of functions for themselves, and without exception they were absolutely thrilled by what they saw.

Alert4All offers the following modules:

A Global Alerting Gateway (GAG), which can be used to reach all implemented receiver devices (using terrestrial as well as satellite connections)

Screening of New Media (SNM), which assesses the public’s reactions to alerts sent through social media

A Training Module (TM), which familiarizes users with the system’s functions

An Alert Simulation Module (ASM), which aids simulation of how alerts spread out among the general public

Fraunhofer IAO’s cooperation partner, the Institute for Human Factors and Technology Management IAT at the University of Stuttgart, designed and realized the simulation tool used to support planning and investment decision making as well as for training and application purposes. Together with end users in crisis management, the scientists used agent-based simulation to develop a user-oriented web application. Work continues with various EU project partners to build on the achievements of Alert4All.

Willi Wendt | Fraunhofer IAO
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