News

04-10-2019

More than 170 municipalities test BE-Alert

2019, October 3


Over the past two years, the BE-Alert platform has been activated in real emergency situations over 135 times. In order to be able to deploy BE-Alert quickly and efficiently during emergencies, it is of the utmost importance that cities and municipalities regularly practice with the tool. On Thursday, October 3, more than 170 municipalities will send a test message through BE-Alert.

80% of Belgian cities and municipalities have already joined BE-Alert. In the province of Limburg, all cities and municipalities have included BE-Alert in their emergency planning.

Since its launch in June 2017, the population has been notified through BE-Alert in more than 135 emergency situations. There were different types of emergency situations : smoke-producing fires, power cut-offs, stormy weather…

National test in more than 170 cities and municipalities

As with all other aspects of emergency planning, it is crucial to prepare the deployment of BE-Alert well and to test it regularly. Cities and municipalities can send a test message through BE-Alert every first Thursday of the month.

On Thursday, October 3, more than 170 cities and municipalities will test BE-Alert by sending a SMS, a spoken message or an e-mail during the day.  

In addition, a number of local authorities will, in cooperation with the National Crisis Centre (NCCN), send a SMS based on geolocation. This means that all people with a mobile phone in the selected area, will receive a test message, even if they’re not registered. These tests will be carried out in cooperation with the cities/municipalities of Schoten, Herent, Tournai, Braine-Le-Comte, Habay, Nassogne and the federal agencies of the governors of Limburg and West Flanders.

These test moments are useful to test the procedures and the technology. On the basis of these tests, the platform can be developed further. One of the future projects is to connect more communication channels to BE-Alert. These test moments are also used to raise awareness of citizens to subscribe to BE-Alert.

Better prepared together : it only takes 2 minutes  

Despite the fact that it is technically possible to send a SMS to the people who are physically present in the selected area, it’s still important that everyone joins BE-Alert. By registering in advance, people can also be notified in the event of an emergency at their residence, even if they’re not present at that time. There are also emergency situations in which it’s useful to alert only the residents of a given area (e.g. in case of water pollution).

Every day people subscribe to BE-Alert. More than 610.000 addresses have currently already been registered. That number is already a good sign but of course, it needs to go up. The more people register, the more effective the alert will be in case of an emergency situation.  

The government has taken its responsibility. It’s now up to its citizens. If everyone takes two minutes to register, we will be better prepared for an emergency situation.


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