FAQ: Our SMS Tsunami Warning System

What is SMS Tsunami Warning?

SMS Tsunami Warning is a Tsunami Early Warning System that sends an alert to your mobile phone by SMS text message or email should a violent earthquake trigger a Tsunami that is likely to hit your area.

What is the difference with other Early Warning Systems?

Our system gives you the information you need faster than any other mass media or warning system including television, radio, sirens on the beach. You will be the first one to get the news.

Our system works worldwide as we monitor global earthquake activity.

Where do you get the data from?

SMS Tsunami Warning uses and re-elaborates the information received from government agencies and national institutions worldwide:

  • United States Geological Survey (USGS)
  • European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC)
  • Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (NOAA)
  • West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Centre (NOAA)
  • Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)
  • Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre (JATWC)

How do you alert people?

SMS Tsunami Warning sends instant notifications in the form of SMS text message and Email to a user's cell phone, should an Earthquake or Tsunami affect the area where the user is located.

How does your system technically work?

Our system receives real time earthquake information from seismic measuring stations and tsunami warning stations all over the world. The information is sent to our server and it is instantly analyzed by our proprietary algorithm that calculates the threat level of each seismic event (a combination of many factors including earthquake location, depth, magnitude) in relation to the location of our users.

If the threat level is significant, our alarm system will instantly dispatch a message to the users located in endangered areas.

NOTE: you will not receive any message if your region is considered to be safe by our algorithm. Our system will not flood your cell phone with information about earthquakes that occur at the other end of the world.

How long does it take for a message to reach my phone?

Our Messaging Platform is designed to dispatch email and SMS warnings within 120 seconds from the moment a seismic event is recorded.

How does a warning message look like on a mobile phone?

The warning message follows a standard format and it looks like this:

View SMS Text Message

The message will say something like:

SMS-Tsunami-Warning.com - SeaQuake: 8.9. Risk: High.
Southern East Pacific Rise. Time/Date: 11:25 GMT, 2011-08-31.
People affected: Albert.

What does the message mean?

The message above is composed by the following information:

  • Sender's ID: SMS-Tsunami-Warning.com. This is the the URL of our website, so you know the message comes from us;
  • Seismic Event Type: this parameter equals to "Earthquake" if the epicentre is located on land or "Seaquake" if the epicentre is located in the ocean. NOTE: only Seaquakes may trigger Tsunami waves.
  • Magnitude: this is the magnitude of the quake measured on the Richter Scale;
  • Risk Level: this variable features 3 attributes: Low, Medium or High. The risk concerns the probability that damage to property or loss of lives may occur.
  • Location: the name of the region where the epicentre is recorded;
  • Time/Date: the date and time of the seismic event recorded at UTC (Coordinated Universal Time). NOTE: UTC is also called GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). This is the time in London, UK. For more information on World Time Zones, please check the World Clock.
  • People affected by the event: this field shows the name of the person subject to risk. We inserted this field because you can add your spouse or other family member to your account so the message may concern somebody else in your family who lives in a different location from yours.

Let's make an example: if you receive a High Risk Magnitude 8.0 Seaquake warning referred to "Albert", this means that Albert is in danger as a Tsunami is likely to hit the region where "Albert" currently lives.

What should I do in case I receive a Tsunami Alarm?

Absolutely. We only notify subscribers when they are in danger. We will not bother you if earthquakes happen too far away from your area.

By keeping your location updated in your profile all the time, you enable us to alert you also when you travel abroad for business or leisure. Our system calculates your distance from major earthquakes across the world, any time they occur.

Should I worry for real if I receive one of your warnings?

As soon as you receive a Tsunami Warning, you should:

  • move immediately away from the shoreline and go to higher grounds;
  • do not move to lower grounds by river beds or into valleys;
  • do not waste time to take care of your belongings or your luggage even if it is for a minute;
  • while you are moving to higher grounds, ring up your family and friend to inform them about the situation.

After the first tsunami wave hits, do not immediately return to the coast line. Very often a second, even larger wave arrives some time after the first one. Moreover other waves may come even hours after the impact of the first wave.

Does your warning system work globally?

Our warning system operates over the internet and notifies you wherever you are on Earth as long as you have a cell phone and signal on GSM networks (or internet access). GSM is the network you use when you make a regular call with your mobile phone. GSM networks are available in any country and region around the world.

Do I have to install anything on my mobile phone?

No. You don't need any special software or hardware to receive our alerts. What you need is a mobile phone with GSM signal. In other words, if your mobile phone can make or receive phone calls, so you will receive our messages if ever needed.

Can your website predict earthquakes and tsunamis?

No. Earthquakes and Tsunamis cannot be predicted. However, once a large earthquake does occur, SMS Tsunami Warning can forecast its level of destruction and the possibility of generating a Tsunami wave; this information will be used to send email and SMS notifications to our subscribers.

Are false alarms possible and what happens in such cases?

Earthquake information is accurate because we warn users after the earthquake occurs, thus the information is measureable.

However, with reference to Tsunamis, false alarms are possible. In such case, we issue an alarm because we assess the risk that a large Seaquake may trigger a Tsunami wave that does not happen in fact.

As you may understand, we do everything possible to avoid false alarms. Therefore, every alarm should be taken seriously so that we warmly advise to leave coastal areas in case a warning is issued.

Is there anything that SMS Tsunami Warning is NOT?

SMS Tsunami warning:

  • does not replace other official government alert systems or critical information to the public;
  • is not a mass communication system used by governments or other national or international institution to issue official information to the public

Can I receive warning notifications in different languages?

No. At present, Email and SMS notifications are sent in English only.