California fires: smart speakers and emergency alerts

Sean Donelan sean at
Thu Jul 26 19:16:58 UTC 2018

On Thu, 26 Jul 2018, Brian Kantor wrote:
> I can see my way clear to supporting this bill ONLY if it ALSO
> proposes to enhance the liabilities for officials of agencies
> who issue a false or disproportionate alert.

Section 5 of the proposed bill is about emergency alert best practices. 
That includes best practices for officials to avoid issuing false alerts.

For non-weather emergencies, you are far more likely NOT to get any 
warning during a catastrophe. Almost all of the deaths have occured when 
emergency officials did not have, did not use or had problems activating 
warning systems. Local officials don't get a lot of practice issuing 
public warnings, and tend to be shy about issuing public warnings until 
its too late.

For weather warnings, the National Weather Service tends to issue a lot of 
warnings. Weather radios let you turn off types of warning messages you 
aren't interested.  I want to be woken up before a tsunami, I don't want 
to be woken up about coastal flooding.

Weather fatalities

Yes, false alerts happen. False alerts should be minimized. You are 
extremelly unlikely to die as the result of a false alert.

Lack of warning really sucks when it happens to you. Its even worse than 
missing your package delivery notification.

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