Critical look at emergency alert systems: Thai agencies lag behind global counterparts

Photo: KhaoSod

The Cell Broadcast or the modern Emergency Alert System has become a crucial tool for many countries around the world in times of crises that affect public safety. This mobile phone-based warning system, compatible with 2G, 3G, 4G LTE, and 5G, is used by various governments globally to issue wide-ranging emergency alerts or disaster situations.

Cell Broadcast is a method of sending messages to multiple mobile phones in a service area simultaneously. Since 2012, the European Union (EU) has been utilising the EU-Alert system, compatible with all operating systems from IOS, Android, to Windows.

Nations such as France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Denmark are using this system, while others like Italy, Austria, and Ireland are in the process of testing it. Some countries, like Sweden, have their own national warning systems, such as the VMA.

The United States has been issuing warnings through mobile phones since 2008, following the enactment of disaster warning legislation in 2006.

The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) work in conjunction with general Emergency Alert Systems, traditionally issued through television, radio, and satellite radio.

The alerts are of three main types: those issued by the President of the United States or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), threats to life, divided into severe and extreme threats, and child abduction alerts (AMBER Alert).

In Asia, South Korea has been using the KPAS system since 2005, issuing warnings on various issues, from national security threats to Covid-19 situations and bomb threats.

Japan, on the other hand, uses the J-Alert, a satellite-based system that issues warnings through various channels, including television, radio, mobile phones, emails, and community speakers.

Thailand, however, does not yet have a national disaster alert, but various public and private agencies in the country have developed apps to alert emergencies, such as the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), reported KhaoSod.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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