After the 2016 November 14th earthquake, local Civil Defence officials activated their text based "alert" service when it was determined that there was a risk of a major tsunami. It did not work well for them at all, as residents took to Facebook to vent their displeasure.

Many woke up in the morning to find texts had been sent during the night telling them to prepare to evacuate, then not to. Some only started receiving texts sometime around 8am - 6 hours late. Those in highly vulnerable locations were not that pleased, for if the tsunami had been real, then they would have been washed away in their beds.

In it's early research TSUNADO engineers determined that texting, tweeting, and even mobile apps are not effective alerting devices. Smoke alarms, sirens, and car horns are. So they designed the TSUNADO Alert Radios to include a high decibel alarm, as piercing as a smoke alarm, yet unique, to wake people at night, or get heard above noise during the day. Then provide information on what to do by both screen an the internal radio.

Here are some examples of residents Social Media postings:

 

And as a final act of admission that the text systems were fragile, this morning BOP Civil Defence posted to their Facebook page: 

“If you were registered to receive text alerts and did not get a text please private message us your number and we will check to see if it was an issue with our alerting system or a result of the earthquake which appears to have compromised national communication networks.”

NOTE 1: To repeat, "which appears to have compromised national communications networks".

NOTE 2: The Radio Stations didn't shut down. Which has been our case all along.

 

Another large earthquake has hit New Zealand.

A 7.5 earthquake hit the South Island, at Cheviot near Christchurch, just after midnight. Multiple quakes have since followed in both islands.

Talkback Radio has been hot on the topic of alerting, or more to the point, the lack thereof.

This week we are beginning a campaign to promote the use of TSUNADO as the best method of alerting the public when such disasters occur. This was in response to MCDEM issuing a statement that they were only supporting systems based on the cellular network. TSUNADO disagrees with this approach, as it was an option written off early on in the development of the TSUNADO System as being too fragile, to unreliable, and too costly.

Watch this site for more details.

 

Callaghan-funded tech gives early warning when disaster looms

A Kiwi-developed disaster warning system has been given $260,000 by the government's innovation body Callaghan Innovation. The Tsunado alerts people to natural disasters like tsunamis, forest fires, tornados, floods and ...

 

Read the Full Article at:

http://idealog.co.nz/tech/2013/09/callaghan-funded-tech-gives-early-when-disaster-looms

 

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Prepping for the Improbable

TSUNADO

“The odds are better than Lotto that we're going to cop a tsunami at some stage. And it's not going to be nice.”

Prophet of doom, scaremongerer? Neither, says Gary Benner, who is developer of the tsunami alert system called Tsunado.

“During normal times it's just a radio,” says Gary. “But in the event of a disaster situation like a tsunami, it will let you know in no uncertain terms.”

Gary says he's a realist with a genuine desire to save lives.

Read more here

 

 

Innovative Partnership in Emergency Management and Public Alerting

CLOUD M and Tsunado NZ are delighted to announce a new joint approach to public alerting solutions which will see the development of an innovative relationship to help promote resilience and safety for all New Zealanders.  

CLOUD M built and delivered the Auckland Civil Defence & Emergency Management (CDEM) alerting platform and native mobile phone application (Alerter) with in excess of 50,000 registered users.  This has been successfully operational for the last two years and is currently being considered for national use. Alerter helps the CDEM agency alert the public of emergencies, keeping them informed of emergency response, and helps prepare them to cope during a disaster. It also helps the public take care of themselves and each other. It connects close friends and loved ones in a secure, private network, and helps households develop and manage household emergency plans. 

Tsunado NZ has developed a unique public alerting system known as TSUNADO, which has been built to provide geo-targeted alerts across the country, using satellite and FM radio to distribute the alerts.  TSUNADO  continues to receive information even when there is no power, mobile or internet availability.   

The system uses simple, unobtrusive Alert Radios  placed in the home, which sound a warning (similar in loudness to a smoke detector).  The Alert Radios display a text message to the user, and then automatically connect to an audio feed from a local radio or satellite TV station to provide further information.  With inbuilt rechargeable batteries, authorized information is able to be continually received for up to five days after an emergency event.The TSUNADO devices replace the need for a battery operated radio, which is an essential component of every recommended emergency survival kit.

Read more: Innovative Partnership in Emergency Management and Public Alerting

An article on reddit.com reports on the increasing problem of annoying spam messages being received over the Cell Broadcast channels which are meant to be used for alerting the public.

TSUNADO is a  true public alerting solution, with inherent military grade security, and the ability to continue delivering messages during and after an adverse event.


https://www.reddit.com/r/canada/comments/3u9m7d/cell_broadcast_spam_increasing_unlike_sms_and/?st=iuz9hhpg&sh=f6337e65

There is an increasing amount of "cell broadcast" spam happening. Unlike standard text messages (SMS), cell broadcast messages are like announcements from a big PA speaker: it sends to everyone nearby, but there's no manner of knowing who it's from nor do you have a reply address. Instead, messages will appear to be from some name, rather than a number.

One in particular that has been going around is about getting an iPhone 6S for $1. The home page has no content, but if you follow the specific link that was sent, you'll be brought to a teeth whitening page where you sign up for $1.99, but if you don't cancel within three days, they apparently charge you $120 per month, and charge in-advance (who knows how many months in advance). It's hosted by a place in Massachusetts where the only contact information is for sending subpoenas (and they list their charges for being served with subpoenas), so it's a pretty shady hosting service, seemingly for shady content.

I've received other types of messages, as well, and they're all scams.

I contacted Rogers (my cellular provider) asking if they take reports on these messages, in the same way that most ISPs have a department for investigating e-mail (and SMS) spam. The agent that I spoke with was trying to give me advice on blocking the sender or replying "STOP", evidently not understanding that you can't reply to cell broadcast messages. He simply directed me to the Rogers "share a concern" page, which I did fill out.

The next day, I received a call back from Rogers (I can't remember if it was a manager or supervisor). He was starting to address it in a similar manner. After I explained that I wasn't interested in how to not receive the messages, but rather asking if they take reports for them, he told me that they don't. I explained why I was concerned, namely that due to the lack of sender information and being a broadcasted message, it may seem to some like a Rogers-endorsed message, since many likely haven't seen a cell broadcast message before, and subsequently may lower their guard and become victims. The representative said something along the lines of "Well, I hope that people are smart enough not to fall for that.". I was pretty disappointed with that specific response, because anyone who has dealt with telecommunications in any manner knows that people fall for much more obvious scams than that all the time, and that's what you end up seeing on the news or in newspapers. I understand that tracking these kinds of messages down may be difficult, but hoping that nobody falls for it is ignorant and somewhat irresponsible; just leave it at "there is no manner to investigate these messages".

As these new scams start to pop up, I feel like we have some kind of duty to make sure that our less-techie friends are aware of them. I always feel wretched when I see an elderly person trying to scrape by with little cash who was scammed out of thousands of dolllars.

If you're afraid of someone receiving these messages and you'd like to turn them off, it can vary from device to device. On Android Lollipop, it can be turned off from going into the SMS app, going to settings, and then looking for "cell broadcast" or "CB" and turning it off.

NZ technology gives better warnings of disasters

An innovative New Zealand-made product is set to give people improved alerts and information about emergencies.

When a disaster such as a tsunami or volcanic eruption happens, the Tsunado, a compact plug-in alert radio unit, sounds a loud alarm before tuning into a Civil Defence radio broadcast.  It will soon be available for use in homes and offices.

The Tsunado is made by Disaster Warning Systems Limited (DIWA), who received funding and mentoring from Callaghan Innovation.

 

Read the Full article at:

http://www.callaghaninnovation.govt.nz/news-events/nz-technology-gives-better-warnings-disasters

 

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The Sunlive Newspaper in Tauranga reports that "many people are reporting not getting an alert text message following this morning's 7.1 earthquake and tsunami warning".

This refers to the event on 2nd September 2016, where the BOP Regional Council has to explain why alerts were not received by people who had signed up to the text message alerting system managed by the Council.

Tsunado Technical Director Gary Benner commented that, "even if these messages had been received, the slow process of managing alerts meant that the messages that were being received, arrived at the same time that the waves were hitting our shores. And had it been a major earthquake, that would have been a disaster of monumental proportion."

"Reliance on text and cell phone technologies is unforgivable", says Benner, "given that Tsunado has now been available for at least two years, and proven in three trials held in the BOP and Auckland."

"Texts delivered by SMS and Cell Broadcasting are fine for general information, but they are not an effective alerting platform. They don't wake people up, and they don't demand immediate attention."

Tsunado Alert Radios are designed to deliver emergency alerts quickly and with a very loud alarm. They use Broadcast Radio and Satellite technologies to deliver the alerts, as these have been proven over many years to be the most reliable communications mechanisms during disasters, or any time in fact.

And the Tsunado Alert Radios continue working for 5-10 days without the need for recharging.

 

 

 

Tsunado technology made possible with government funding

A new life-saving technology has been developed with the help of New Zealand government funding. Developed and manufactured in New Zealand with the assistance of Callaghan Innovation, this new product is now on its way to be commercialised for the use in offices and homes. The Tsunado was developed by New Zealand company Disaster Warning Systems Limited (DIWA).

$260,000 in government funding supports disaster management technology

During the stages of research and development, Callaghan Innovation provided a total of $260,000 in funding to DIWA. Not only did the government ogranisation provide funding, but also served as a mentor to the company by providing technical and marketing solutions and expanding their network of useful sources. The Tsunado product provides users with improved information and alerts about natural disasters. This product is a compact alert radio unit with a plug-in design. When a natural disaster occurs, such as an earthquake or volcanic eruption, the radio sounds an alarm then self-tunes into the nation's Civil Defense radio broadcast. According to Tsunado inventor Gary Benner, this idea occurred to him when he heard news of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami and simultaneously had his smoke alarm set off.

Tsunado technology now ready for purchase in New Zealand

Natural disaster emergencies can now be dealt with in a more organised manner with the assistance of this new government-funded technology. The Tsunado is now readily available to be pre-purchased on the company's website. This disaster management technology is already showing strong potential for exporting overseas. The Tsunado is also battery powered — which is useful in power outage situations — therefore allowing authorities to communicate important information to people in need. By providing funding for the development of such technology, the government continues to support innovation and protect individuals from natural disasters.

http://www.nzfundinggrants.org/blog/news-and-events/government-funded-technology-provides-improved-natural-disaster-warnings/

 

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On September 3rd, 2015 an earthquake, 7.1 in magnitude, 130km north-east of Te Araroa at a depth of 55km at 4.37am - was felt from Northland to Wellington in the North Island, and in the top of the South Island. Severe reports were felt in Gisborne and the Bay of Plenty.

The earthquake prompted a large response from Civil Defence. Tsunami waves measuring 30 cm were picked up at Gisborne port and the gauge at East Cape.

There were numerous complaints that people did not hear any warning, or that the delays in issuing warning were unacceptable.

As usual, Civil Defence advised people to seek higher ground, and take a radio with them.

TSUNADO Alert Radios have the capability to not only provide news and information from local radio stations, but be activated to sound an alarm that will wake anyone in the house during the night, or above the usual noise of everyday life.

Because the turn on automatically when there is news to be delivered,  TSUNADO Alert Radios have a battery life of 5 to 10 days.

In remote regions such as East Cape, the signals can be delivered via the Optus D1 Satellite used by both Sky Television and Kordia (Freeview). This ensures 100% coverage to all regions of New Zealand.

For more information, please contact Rhys Greensill ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or Gary Benner ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TSUNADO Trial in Waihi

TSUNADO is currently participating in a Trial in Waihi with mining company Newmont Waihi Gold, and local radio station Gold FM, who brought the idea to TSUNADO after working with us on a Civil Defence pilot.

The current blasting programme causes vibrations which may cause some alarm. To mitigate this, TSUNADO Alert Radios are being employed to provide a gentle advanced notification prior to the blast.

This is from the Newmont Newsletter:

We have been told by some residents that the ‘startle effect’ of a blast
vibration is more of a concern than the vibration itself. For some, the sudden
and unannounced arrival of blast vibration is more of an issue. While the
vibration may be no more than a big truck passing, with a truck you can
hear it coming and you know what it is. There is no ‘startle effect’.
 
In an effort to reduce this effect we will soon be conducting a blast
notification trial. This trial with a selected group of residents will involve the
use of a Tsunado warning device. Originally designed for use in Civil Defence
emergencies, the Tsunado has been modified for our specific purposes. The
Tsunado is about the size of a small tea cup, and it plugs into an ordinary
power socket. It receives a signal from our underground shot firer about 30
seconds before a blast. On receiving the signal it will play music, quietly at
first, then rising in volume. The idea is that quiet music playing will advise
that a blast will follow, thus reducing the‘startle effect’. After the blast a series of
‘radio pips’ will signal that the blast has been completed.

 

Read the Full Article here


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