Today, 19 September, at 12 all mobile phones connected to the network in Lombardy and Milan will ring for the new IT-Alert test, the Civil Protection public alarm system which sends an alert message in the event of an emergency. All smartphones will emit a notification sound and receive the same text message: “EMERGENCY ALERTS – This is a TEST MESSAGE from the Italian public alarm system”.
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At 12.00 on Tuesday 19 September telephones connected to telephone networks throughout Lombardy, including Milanthey will sound an alert and receive a message IT-Alert for the new test of the Civil Protection public alarm system for direct information to the population in case of emergencies and disasters. Today’s test is a general test which, in addition to the Lombardy region, will also involve Basilicata and Molise, while the campaign for the remaining regions of Italy will be completed in the coming weeks.
The text of the text message will be: “EMERGENCY ALERTS – This is a TEST MESSAGE from the Italian public alarm system. Once operational it will alert you in the event of a serious emergency. For information go to the website www.it-alert.it and fill in the questionnaire”. The notification will arrive on smartphones connected to the network at noon and will be accompanied by a “unique and recognizable” audio alert. The sound signal will stop only after user interaction.
The objective of this experiment is to test the new system which, once fully operational, will notify the population in a timely manner in the event of serious emergencies or imminent dangers like heavy rainfall, for example severe bad weather, floods and floods.
Upon receiving the message users will be invited to answer questions in a questionnaire to verify the correct success of the test and report any problems, which will be available on the official IT-Alert website. The questionnaire is made up of 24 questions, some of a technical nature, others of a more emotional nature, which citizens will have to fill in to give a representation of their experience. The questions will be different depending on whether the message has been received or not to allow the technicians a better evaluation of the test coverage.
The alarm, at a national level, can also be activated in the event of a tsunami generated by an earthquake, the collapse of a large dam, volcanic activity, nuclear accidents or a radiological emergency situation and major accidents in industrial plants.
The technology used to reach the smartphones of people present in a certain area is called cell broadcast. During the test you may receive the message even if you are not exactly in the affected area because the signal covered by the telephone antennas is not perfectly superimposable with the borders of the regions. On September 14, during the test in Piedmont, some people reported having received the notification because they were in the municipalities neighboring the affected provinces. To not receive the alarm it is possible, although not recommended, turn off the notification from your mobile phone settings.