This is how 112 will notify the Canarian population

This is how 112 will notify the Canarian population

Archive image of the 112 room in the capital of Gran Canaria. / JUAN CARLOS ALONSO

Interior prepares an application that will be managed by regional governments before December to warn citizens of emergencies in the area by telephone

Louisa del Rosario

At the end of the year, Canarian citizens will begin to receive emergency alerts on their mobile phones that are happening or are going to happen in the area where you are and the sender will be 112.

The Emergency and Security Coordination Center (Cecoes) 112 participates in the project that the Ministry of the Interior, through Civil Protection, is launching
so that the population can be alerted to an emergency in a specific area.

«Until now, the public is the one who accesses 112 to ask for help, 112 is an intermediary service, which organizes that help by starting up the different devices that are needed. This is one step further.
It is 112 who reaches the public to warn them of a risk situation or a threat to civil protection in the place where they are at that time. For us it is to act in the opposite way, ”explains the regional director of 112, Moisés Sánchez.

What is 112 going to warn about?

Of alerts referred to as
risks of collective affectation. «This is not going to warn you of queues in Julio Luengo or on the highway to Maspalomas but of
heavy rains that can endanger the safety of people, a dangerous goods fire, a tsunami, a volcano eruption -How well it would have served us on La Palma to manage evacuations, confinements...-. It will alert us of high temperatures, of an episode of marine pollution... », explains Sánchez.

The message will reach the mobile phone of people who are in the affected area through a pop-up window or pop up, in such a way that it will appear on the phone screen of those who are in the area affected by the emergency and
it will not be deactivated until the user indicates that he has seen the messageand. This pop-up window will also be accompanied by a kind of alarm or a vibration.

From one building to the entire archipelago

The system will not know who you are sending the message to, because that will be taken care of by the telephone companies in such a way that
will appear on the screen of mobile phones that are under the influence of certain repeaters.

Thus, Sánchez explained, from the General Directorate of Security and Emergencies it will be decided, depending on the emergency,
in which area the alarm will be given but it can be from a building to four blocks, a neighborhood, an island or the entire archipelago.

The regional director of the 112 of the Canary Islands, Moisés Sánchez. /


Do not generate social alarm

“It is not a tool that the health transport manager will be able to use, but people with responsibility,” said Sánchez, who cited an example from Hawaii in which an emergency was sent by mistake due to a tsunami without warning that it was a drill.
"We have to be extremely careful when handling it because we cannot pervert its original purpose and generate social alarm due to its misuse."

Alert messages from 112 can be received in Spanish and English, although the communities of Catalonia, Euskadi and Galicia will also issue them in their respective languages.

Messages in "imperative"

And the alert will be in the form of an "imperative", explained Moisés Sánchez. «
It will be a direct imperative recommendation something like 'You must leave the area for this, this and this. Go to the media and official sources to follow the evolution of the emergency'. The civil protection regulations, the messages, must be direct: 'evacuate the area' or 'confine yourself to your home' and not of the type 'if you think so'.
Whoever receives it must understand that it is an indication of self-protection because you are in an exposed risk area and you are vulnerable.».

And if there is resistance, "the action groups will take the necessary measures."
In the case of fires "there is a lot of reluctance to leave the property under the false thought that you are going to be able to defend your farm with a hose. For Civil Protection the first thing is human life and in second place goods. Success is zero victims”, he adds.

The system will be operational before the end of the year, but
after the summer the testing phase will begin and probably the Canary and Balearic Islands will be among the first to test it. “Citizens can probably spontaneously receive an alert, but the message will make it clear that it is a test text, that it is a drill,” she said.

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