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Civil Defence Sirens for ACT?

By Sgt.Bungers 18 December 2009 21

Wouldn’t it be nice if the ACT GovCo spent some tax payer dollars on something useful… in my opinion, bizarre statues of obese naked men reading books on city walk, are not that useful.

The new mobile phone alert system has many flaws, the primary ones being someone who doesn’t have a mobile phone, or whose phone battery is flat, or simply off, someone who doesn’t speak english, or someone who cant read, someone who’s out of range, will not be immediately aware of an impending disaster if a text message is sent to their phone.

The question has to be asked, why has the fairly simple setup of mechanical civil defence/air raid/storm warning (call them what you will) sirens, activated by encrypted radio signals, apparently not been considered as part of a new system in the ACT? The US has thousands of such sirens which are used for tornado and storm warnings. The ACT would only need a handful to cover almost the whole population of the Territory. It’s difficult not to hear them, and when activated could simply mean, get to a radio/TV for more information about the impending disaster.

What are your thoughts?

An actual tornado warning in Chicago:

What’s Your opinion?

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Civil Defence Sirens for ACT?
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Palifox 10:42 pm 28 Dec 09

Mordd and sepi are correct. Phone systems jam in emergencies with people trying to ring Auntie Flo to find out if she’s OK.

It should be a condition of a broadcast licence that emergency messages are read out as soon as they are received. No readout – close the station for a few days or a very substantial fine. If there is nobody in the studio because the program is run by a robot, tough luck to the broadcaster. They claim to provide a service, they might actually do it for a change.

I lived through the 1974 Brisbane floods. That emergency lasted a few days. If you listened to one of the commercial stations you would not have known the floods were on. As far as I recall the same thing happened in the Canberra fires, only 666 carried any updates.

In my limited experience the first thing to collapse in a disaster is the phone system. In the late 80s I was marginally involved in an underground coal mine disaster, 13 men killed in a dust explosion. I was sent gas samples for analysis, ran the analyses and tried to phone them through to the mine management. The phone network was jammed and we eventually had to Telex the results through. Fax was no good, it’s just a glorified phone.

Someone with a better knowledge of radio can correct me if I’m wrong here. Hot gases from fires are electrically conductive and partially absorb radio signals. As I understand it the effect is greater the higher the frequency. Since mobile phones work near the top of the ultra-high frequency band the effect is much stronger than at very high frequency. Even at VHF I understand hot fire gases blocked radio signals to fire appliances in the Canberra region. So those with a mobile phone and a fire between them and the phone repeater might not get the signal anyway.

Don’t depend on the phone system, specially not the mobile one.

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