Tuesday, June 07, 2011

National Telephone Warning System Test in Canberra

The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) will test "Emergency Alert", the national telephone warning system, 7 June 2011, in suburbs of western Canberra. Landline telephones in the area will ring, when the householder answers, the Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS) will sound, followed by a recorded message. Mobile phones with a billing address in the area will receive an SMS message with the same information.

There are limitations with this system, including that mobile phones registered outside the area will not receive the message. This is being addressed. One which still needs to be addressed is that people who are using the Internet, rather than conventional TV, Radio and telephones, will not receive the alert. An option needs to be made available for the emergency messages to be received via the Internet.

The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) also needs to correct the numerous faults in their web home page. The page fails a web accessibility test for the disabled with 67 Problems (WCAG 2.0 Level AA). As an example, the main menu illegible when a large font is used. In addition, ESA needs to correct the 65 validation errors in the HTML code of their home page, 2 errors in the CSS and make their web site compatible with mobile devices. The home page scores 0 out of 100 on the W3C mobileOK Checker. ESA have failed to implement their we site in accordance with Australian law and are placing lives at risk as a result.

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