Oct. 3, 2018 EAS Presidential Alert test

Sean Donelan sean at donelan.com
Fri Oct 5 23:47:51 UTC 2018

On Thu, 4 Oct 2018, bzs at theworld.com wrote:
> Just to try to squeeze something worthwhile out of these reports...
> I wonder, if there were a real alert, what the odds are that one
> wouldn't hear about it in 1 minute, 5 minutes, etc even if they didn't
> personally get it.

What happens when people don't get warnings?

Gatlinburg, TN - 2016 Wildfires - 14 fatalities

Northern California - 2017 Wildfires - 44 fatalities

Yes, neighbors alerted neighbors, local emergency officials drove through 
the streets and knocked on doors, radio and television stations broke into 
programming. It took hours, and eventually about 200,000 people were 
warned. But the wildfires moved faster than those other alerting methods.

Sometimes people are asleep (disasters don't always happen at 2pm on a 
work day), live alone, are not constantly watching TV or checking social 

Its unlikely any system will ever be able to reach everyone. WEA reaches 
more people (about 70% of the national population), much faster (about 
10-15 seconds), day and night (most people keep their mobile phones near 
them even while sleeping) than the existing warning systems. But they 
should still be used in combination, not exclusive.

Warning systems depend on communication service providers keeping their 
systems operating, i.e. cell towers with backup power, ISPs with 
diversity in their networks, etc.

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