Should the public send emergency alerts?

False alarm

Alerting the public of disasters and hazards is traditionally considered the responsibility of government. Why does it have to be that way? Why can’t the public, themselves, also alert? Using the same trustworthy and reliable tools that government uses?

The public is often the first to witness a threat and to inform government authorities of it who then alert the mass public. Why not empower the public to send the alert, themselves?

There’s a laundry list of reasons why not. Most have to do with the risk of abuse, mis-use and over-use. No one wants to see fake alerts (abuse). Or alerts that have nothing to do with public safety or contain misinformation (mis-use). Or too many or duplicate alerts sent for the same event (over-use).

An ‘official’ public emergency alerting platform available to all to send alerts would need to safeguard against abuse, mis-use, and over-use. But the benefits to public safety and the economy are immense if those safeguards could be achieved.

Do you think it’s possible to build these safeguards into a shared public emergency alerting platform? A platform that is used by government and the general public alike to send emergency alerts?

Take care. Be prepared.

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