• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • raven ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Julia Winter
stewards:
  • Burra Maluca
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Bill Erickson
garden masters:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Bryant RedHawk
  • Mike Jay
gardeners:
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • Dan Boone
  • Daron Williams

Emergency alerts - how to get them?  RSS feed

 
master steward
Posts: 10600
Location: Left Coast Canada
1793
books chicken fiber arts cooking sheep
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In the early hours of this morning, there was a major tsunami alert for my area.  At 2am, local ridges and hills were crowded with people seeking safety.  At cities up and down the coast, the alarms blared while people complained: "why don't you just use social media?"

I slept through it. 

Where I live, there are sirens that they could have used, but they didn't.  They used an app.

This frustrates me because I'm one of the 20 to 30% of the population in our area without a smartphone. 

If I got a smartphone, I would have to get a second job and work an extra 12 hours a month (once you add the taxes to the cost of the plan and subtract the taxes from the earnings). Due to health and other reasons (that get very political), I cannot work that extra 12 hours.  I cannot afford a smartphone.  It's not a choice not to have one, it's just the way it is.  I suspect there are many other people in this situation and this may be why smartphones ownership is so low in our part of the world.

My questions:
How do I remind the local emergency service that not everyone has a smartphone?
How does one find out about urgent emergencies in their area without a smartphone?


 
gardener
Posts: 1186
Location: Middle Tennessee
181
books cat chicken food preservation homestead cooking purity trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ugh, smartphones, or as I call them, devilphones :). I have an old dumbphone by my choosing, really because I don't want another distraction in my life or some high tech "spy on me and know everything about my life" gadget. So they make these weather radios/alarm clock things that respond to and audibly play emergency weather service messages regardless of the time of day or night they happen. They're good for waking you up at 1am when there's a tornado in the next town over. I'm not sure how to inform the local emergency services about people that don't have smartphones. I hate to suggest this, as I despise and don't watch the news, but an email to a local tv news station about how the local emergency service is leaving citizens in the dark about potentially deadly situations would get their attention. They last thing they want is bad PR.
 
raven ranson
master steward
Posts: 10600
Location: Left Coast Canada
1793
books chicken fiber arts cooking sheep
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I sent the emergancy people a note saying

I'm curious how one can find out about urgent emergency alerts without a smartphone? Like the tsunami alert in the early hours of this morning. Looking at the census data from 2016, more than 20% of people in BC don't have a smartphone, so I was wondering what other alerts are in place? Are there sirens or other audio alerts for people? Is there an auto-phone system we can register with? I can usually hear fog horns and other loud noises like sirens. We're fairly close to a military space (firing range) which also has a lovely loud siren. But I heard nothing last night. This makes me worried.



I felt like saying more, but I couldn't phrase it nicely.

I don't know if they will get back to me.

But I like the idea of having an auto-phone alert for landlines.  I remember there used to be something like this in the past that all landlines were on.  I wonder what happened to it. 
 
raven ranson
master steward
Posts: 10600
Location: Left Coast Canada
1793
books chicken fiber arts cooking sheep
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hmmm, I also cannot find the emergency alert ap for our province.  Maybe one needs a phone to be able to find it?
 
garden master
Posts: 1991
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
326
books food preservation hunting solar trees woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Might the local news be interested in a news story about how emergency alerts aren't going out to the most vulnerable members of society (older folks without smart phones)?
 
gardener
Posts: 392
Location: Sierra Nevadas, CA 6400'
110
dog hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In my (American) county, you can call the Sheriff's Department and ask to subscribe to reverse-911 alerts. When an emergency notification comes out, a robot will call your landline and read out the alert to you.
 
gardener
Posts: 2156
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
235
bike books food preservation forest garden fungi hugelkultur solar trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Most nights I put my phone on silent, so that I can sleep as soundly as possible when I do not want to receive any call outs from work, so I don't know how I would get an alert even though my smarty pants phone is right beside me on my bedstand, charging and doing it's job as my alarm clock. 

There was a big kerfuffa on the C.B.C. radio this morning because of the same incident that R Ranson started this post about.  The local radio broadcast show spans my highway from the coastal communities of Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert, inland to the Rockies where I am and then up into the North East of the province.  On Haida Gwaii (an archipelago of islands off B.C.'s North Coast), according to the story, tsunami sirens go off, and the police go down the road with a loudspeaker, and knock on all doors.  Everyone is evacuated to high ground.  The population of Haida Gwaii is small and so this task can be done relatively quickly.   In Prince Rupert, a much larger community, most people slept through the text message reminder.  That's where the story dwelled while I was driving my welding truck this morning, but I got out of radio range pretty quick heading out to my work site, so I lost the rest of the story.

At any rate, I think that, if enough people raise a stink, that something on the lines of what Kyle wrote might be implemented.  It's definitely worth raising a stink about.  That kind of shit make me mad.

I think Mike J's idea about the elderly not having smart phones and being some of the most vulnerable, and them not being alerted.  A good story for the news service.  



Slightly off topic, but this reminds me of a time I was co-parenting a young girl in Vancouver in 2006.  We moved from the city of New Westminister, to Vancouver and enrolled her in a new school.  The school asked us for our cell phone numbers, in case of an emergency.  Neither of us had a cell phone.  We had a land line, which was quite sufficient for our needs.  We were running the house basically on my income as a support worker and some bursery's/grants for the mother's schooling.  We had a tight budget.  The mother was in school all day, and we gave the girl's school the number of her mother's school; I thought that was perfectly adequate.  I worked evenings, and so I gave them that number as well, even though the daughter would be out of school by the time I started.  But they were insistent that we have a cell phone, and that this was a school policy, in case they needed to get a hold of us, personally in the event of an emergency.  I told them basically this:  "Your policy is ridiculous", and asked them "What the hell you did for the past 100 years before cell phones existed?  The child is in their care from the moment that bell rings in the morning until the dismissal bell rings, period, full stop, end of story.  If there is an emergency, deal with it.  There's principals, teachers, councilors, nurses, doctors, police, whatever.  Deal with it, and we will deal with it when we find out about it.  Pretty simple.  If you feel the need to pursue insisting on this, then you can pay for a cell phone for me."  I hung up the phone.  The never called again about it.             
 
pollinator
Posts: 1108
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
163
books forest garden rabbit solar tiny house woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Old outdated smart phones can often be gotten for free. People don't want them so either throw them away, pitch them into electronic recycling bins, or give them to an abused women's group. Just put a notice up on a local bulletin board that you want one for emergency notices and I bet someone will donate an old phone. Might have a cracked screen, but who cares. Or contact an abused women group and see if they have surplus smart phones.

In the US, smart phones without SIM cards in them will receive emergency notices. They can also call 911. I know that for a fact because I keep an old iPhone 4S beside the bed just for the purpose of emergency messages. No SIM card. I've gotten flash flood warnings, tsunami warnings, and the latest....a ballistic missile alert. Thought I had 12 minutes before the blast and discovered I had absolutely no protected place to go. So I did the next best thing -- finished eating my hot breakfast before it got cold. For real! Luckily it was a false alarm. But my main concerned is a lava eruption. Sitting on the side of a volcano, I will only have a couple of hours to evacuate, so an alert over a smart phone can be real, real beneficial.

ps- basically zero cost......free old phone.....no SIM card to buy.....no phone plan to pay for. Just plug it into a charger to keep it running, which just costs pennies. I find it to be a cheap solution.
 
gardener
Posts: 7349
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
400
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The same here in Canada. They also function as an emergency light.

Any phone that has ever been activated, works as a 911 phone.

They can also function as a computer and go on the internet via hundreds of free WiFi locations. There's a guy who has worked for me, who pays nothing for a phone, but he makes free calls all over the world through WhatsApp, for free.

Plans start at around  $30 per month, which is less than one hour of work for the average Victoria worker. Minimum wage is 10 something.

À friend called at 4 am. I went back to sleep.  Probably shouldn't have.
 
garden master
Posts: 4774
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
538
books chicken dog duck fish forest garden fungi homestead hugelkultur hunting pig
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Canada Emergency Alert System

found that, don't know if it is nation wide but you might find out if BC has the same setup.


Redhawk
 
For my next feat, I will require a volunteer from the audience! Perhaps this tiny ad?
Free Tool Giveaway---hori hori knife, pruning shears & more!
https://permies.com/t/90826/Free-Tool-Giveaway
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!