Friday, January 12, 2007
Awareness campaign for earthquake info system
I posted yesterday about how the Japanese are increasingly using mobiles as part of their natural disaster planning. Today the Telecommunications Carriers Association (TCA) announced a poster campaign which positions the mobile as important as the emergency bag of food, money, torches etc. that authorities encourage people to keep in their homes in case of emergency.
When earthquakes occur in Japan, the mobile networks frequently go down due to a surge in calls and emails from worried friends and family. To combat this, all 4 major networks have worked together to develop a mobile internet natural disaster information system which puts minimum stress on the network. People in affected areas log onto the system to set their status to “ok” and this status is visible to friends and relatives who log on to search for loved ones.
The system only went live late last year and so far has yet to be tested in an actual disaster. Of course, we can only hope that it won’t be needed, but if a major earthquake should strike, the system will no doubt be a huge help in the relief effort. The posters will be displayed in government institutions and schools all over Japan from this month.
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