Mobile Emergency Warning in Initial Incident Phases


Johan Stjernberger,,Henrik Eriksson,,Lars Rejnus,Johan Jenvald


Modern wireless networks together with the widespread use of mobile telephones have increased the possibility to reach groups of people and individuals. It is possible to use such an infrastructure to communicate warnings and instructions to the public in case of severe incidents. For example, emergency operators can send targeted warnings to people at risk in selected geographical areas.

A problem with traditional methods, such as warning people by radio and television, is the time lag between the incident and the actual broadcast. Delays occur at several stages, such as locating the appropriate decision maker, obtaining approval, and preparing the message for broadcasting. In practice, broadcast warnings are used rarely because most everyday incidents are below the threshold for such general public warnings. We believe that mobile-phone networks are suitable for emergency warnings, because they can send messages promptly to a targeted group of people without involving such general broadcasts.

Using two different scenarios, we explore the possibilities to provide early emergency warning in initial incident phases through modern wireless networks. For both scenarios, we study how the initial incident phases can be better utilized in order to communicate early warnings, instructions, and important information through wireless networks, thus increasing public safety and taking further advantage of our society’s investments in mobile communications infrastructure.