Beating a tsunami, thanks to an Israeli early warning system

Israel’s eViglio will implement an emergency alert plan in coastal areas of Europe

Israel’s eVigilo is implementing technology that will provide Europeans with early warnings of tsunamis and other natural disasters.

The company has developed technology that lets governments and safety authorities keep in touch with people in areas where public safety is at risk. It’s already being used in Chile to warn residents of tsunami threats, and in Israel, where the eVigilo technology warns of missile attacks, among other things. Now, eVigilo will be integrating its Alert and Distribution Center with the European Union’s Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to send automatic messages to residents of areas where an emergency is developing, using numerous technologies – including IP over fixed and mobile networks, cell broadcast channels, TV, radio, sirens, billboards and pagers. 

Smartphone apps are a big part of the eVigilo system. Apps will allow authorities to send messages to people in danger zones, and the geolocation features of smartphones will enable authorities to ensure that everyone is properly evacuated from the area.

The warning system can be used in a variety of ways, in line with specific safety threats. The first to be set up will warn residents of coastal areas of tsunamis. A test of that system will be conducted in Setubal, Portugal, 50 kilometers south of Lisbon, in collaboration with local authorities. Residents will be sent messages, and an emergency warning broadcast system will instruct them on evacuation procedures.

eVigilo’s technology is already operational in Chile, where authorities use it to alert residents of earthquakes and tsunamis, and in Israel, where eVigilo is the company behind the Defense Ministry’s program to issue missile warnings via cell phone calls and texts. The program is the first in the world to use the cell network to broadcast emergency mass notifications in the event of a missile attack. The program is set to be implemented fully in the coming year, and several practice drills have already been conducted, with the results drawing compliments from top defense officials.

Besides the missile warning system, eVigilo recently introduced its City Alert system, which lets municipal authorities distribute information about emergencies like floods and fires, as well as messages about work being done to a water main. That program has already been implemented in several cities in Israel, including Hod Hasharon and Kfar Sava.

Commenting on the new arrangement with the EU agency, eVigilo CEO Guy Weiss said that the company “is thrilled to become proactive members in this joint research project and happy to contribute from our knowledge. We are confident that our practical experience in designing national tsunami alert and notification systems will contribute to this project and will serve as model for other countries.”

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