Neustar Pushes Government SMS Use for Disaster Management

Neustar, a provider of real-time information and analytics for the Internet, telecommunications, entertainment, and marketing industries, published mGovernment: How Government Agencies Can Use SMS , a paper on the benefits of SMS for governments to communicate with their citizens. They argue the availability of SMS is a key component of its value. Citizens do not need expensive data plans or smart phones to communicate. Additionally, because mobile phones have taken the place of land-lines, mobiles are an incredible tool to use as a means to provide information. The final argument Neustar makes is “since most consumers have their mobile phone within reach and keep the device always on, government agencies can make public information and government services accessible to the population anytime and anywhere”.

A crucial component for governments to use SMS is for disaster management. Neustar provides case studies of disaster management implementation through SMS. The paper mentions Oman, a country that is mostly desert, and ways they use SMS for disaster management. Oman sends out texts to citizens when it is raining heavily via The National Committee for Civil Defense. An example of a text is the following:

“’Despite the low precipitation yesterday, some casualties were recorded due to some people’s venturing through wadis. We exhort you to be extremely cautious. NCCD.’”

The idea of disaster management is different from disaster relief, however the use of ICTs is one in the same. Spreading knowledge, whether that be pre or post disaster is important. Allowing citizens to understand conditions of disasters prior to their occurrence can help prevent relevant dangers to citizens. Oman is just one of many countries using SMS for disaster management. It is evident this concept is universal and should be implemented across the globe.

Advertisements

One response to “Neustar Pushes Government SMS Use for Disaster Management

  • laurag063

    This week I researched Hurricane Katrina and how ICTs were involved in the response to it, and SMS was a huge component! The U.S.Coast Guard depended heavily on their ability to send SMS text messages, when the message traffic on their radio communications system became too heavy to, coordinate their life-saving rescues by sending SMS messages directly to helicopter crewmen. They were also used to coordinate patrol, rescue, and anti-looting operations when it was discovered that each agency’s hand-held radios were incompatible with those of other agencies. SMS rocks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: