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Public Warning Network Challenge

The disaster that followed the tsunami of December 26, 2004 has challenged providers of information and communications technologies to find ways to improve public warning. Warning systems must be able to alert the public about major hazards and should communicate warning messages via all available notification methods.

The Challenge

Collaborative actions are necessary to assure that standards-based, all-media, all-hazards public warning becomes an essential infrastructure component available to all societies worldwide.

Because the Internet will play a significant role in the efficient distribution of these time-critical alerts, the Internet Society (ISOC) has launched the 'Public Warning Network Challenge' - a call for collaborative action in order to make such public warning systems a reality.

"Any organization involved in an aspect of public warning is invited to endorse the 'Public Warning Network Challenge' and indicate how they are able to collaborate on this goal" said Lynn St .Amour, President and CEO of the Internet Society. "This is an excellent opportunity to show how diverse organizations and entities, supported by the Internet, can work together to develop services that will enhance the safety of millions of people."

The WSIS Declaration of Principles has already highlighted the need to pay special attention to conditions that pose severe threats to development, such as natural disasters. The WSIS Action Plan goes on to make a specific call to establish monitoring systems, using Information and Communication Technology (ICT), to forecast and monitor the impact of natural and man-made disasters particularly in developing countries, least developed countries and small economies.

To support these goals, The 'Public Warning Network Challenge' will provide an enabling environment in which stakeholders everywhere can cooperate to bring the benefits of ICT applications to the area of disaster prevention.