Emergencies are situations that are unexpected and often dangerous, posing an immediate risk to life, environment, health or property and thereby requiring an immediate and prompt action. Emergency situations that might affect residents of a place might range from natural disasters such as flooding, fire outbreak, and earthquakes e.t.c to terrorists attacks, service outage, health emergencies or diseases outbreak, oil spillage and so on.
In order to check these emergency situations and provide adequate awareness and help for victims or prospective ones, the government has agencies in place equipped to handle this. Among this agencies are police services, armed forces, fire services, health bodies and other relief sectors.
At the aftermath of events that poses risks to human life and property, or especially in cases of impending emergency situations, proper general public awareness and guidance is needed. Here is how bulk SMS can be used to address this situation.
In cases of impending natural disasters such as flooding, residents of the endangered area needs to be informed well on time of d impending danger if they are to safe life and property. The first thing the government is most likely to think of is to get warnings out on the TV and print media. The question though is; "How many of these people will get the opportunity to hear it or read it through this means"? Very few, especially if the place affected is rural. Thinking of a faster and instant way of getting such across and confident everybody will. hear it? Bulk SMS is the answer. Bulk SMS is cheap to use, instant and has more possibility of reaching lots of people. With this, casualties for such crisis can be averted or controlled.
When there are cases of nationwide epidemic like the Ebola outbreak which rocked the nation some times ago, people also needs adequate awareness and real time updates. Bulk SMS can also be a ready solution for such. Tips on how to protect oneself, how to prevent spread of such diseases and warnings about the current status can be easily pushed through SMS. SMS is a real life saver in this regard.
In cases of insecurity also like insurgents or terrorists attack, bulk SMS can equally be used to manage this. Security tips can be sent through Bulk SMS. Other real time update about the situation can also be sent through Bulk SMS.
Will there be an unexpected power outage running through a period of time? The masses deserves an explanation of why that is so and when to get it back. Easy way to do this is through SMS. A single and simple message will do. This will also apply to other services outage, offered by the government.
How about situations where life and environmental hazards comes up like oil spillage in water dams? People have to know and quick at that. Bulk SMS solves this dilemma effectively.
Since bulk SMS is a two way communication thing, the masses can also use the service for feedback in assisting the agencies
In the aforementioned and other areas, government agencies can easily dispense their duties using bulk SMS. It is interesting to know that many countries are already using it effectively in this respect. Nigeria also, though some agencies now use bulk SMS well, can do better.
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