Academic journal article Researchers World

Sms Technology as Disaster Warning and Alert System as Perceived by Selected Constituents of Davao del Norte

Academic journal article Researchers World

Sms Technology as Disaster Warning and Alert System as Perceived by Selected Constituents of Davao del Norte

Article excerpt

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INTRODUCTION:

Disaster and emergency preparedness have recently reached the consciousness of the constituents of Davao del Norte. The people have become aware of the need to employ a disaster warning and alert system. One of the most popular approaches was the use of SMS technology. The disasters and threats that Davao del Norte had experienced during the landfall of the super typhoon locally known as Pablo (International Name: Bopha) have prompted its people to demand for timely information from the authority. They feared that s imilar incidents might happen again in the future. In addressing this growing concern, the Provincial Government of Davao del Norte, through the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC), took advantage of the SMS Technology as its disaster warning and alert system.

Disaster Warning and Alert System is a communication strategy that provides people early warning of all hazards, natural or manmade disasters, to create effective response actions to disasters before impact, thus dramatically reducing their effects on the lives of people and properties.

Short Message Service (SMS) or text messaging, on the other hand, allows text messages to be sent to and received from mobile devices (Kable, 2014). The authority to broadcast important messa ges is using it. In this case, it is anticipated that SMS will be well received since almost every Filipino household owns at least one mobile device capable of supporting SMS Technology (Roa, 2012).

The technology is expected to provide the people with a reliable and cheaper means for them to respond quickly to emergencies. However, no research was done on how the system is perceived by the intended recipients of the alert messages - the constituents of Davao Del Norte.

Hence, this study attempted to answer the research question: how do the constituents of Davao del Norte perceived the use of SMS Technology as a disaster warning and alert system? How acceptable is the disaster alert tool? How does information flow from the source to the intended receivers? What barriers, if any, would cause the delay in sending the message alert? What communication model or flow would be most appropriate in communicating disasters?

Specifically, the study aimed to:

1. determine the level of awareness of the constituents regarding the system;

2. gauge the system's level of acceptance to the people;

3. examine how the communication flows from the source to the intended receivers;

4. identify the barriers that would delay in sending the messages through SMS, if any; and

5. develop a more appropriate communication flow within PDRRMC internally and externally that will expedite communication of disasters.

For the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, results are highly valuable since actions of intended audiences highly depend on the acceptability of the communication approaches and in this case, the SMS technology.

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE:

The decision to use a communication tool for disaster awareness does not solely depend on authorities. The intended audiences play a crucial role in its success and applicability. Notions of information technology use in this case, SMS and its perception thus form part of this study.

SMS TECHNOLOGY:

Information and communications technology-aided system such as SMS provides people with reliable, cheaper and effective means that enable them to respond quickly to emergencies. This has the potential to be an effective public communication system, which is essential for a real -time information exchange between the authorities and the people especially during emergencies and in times of disaster.

SMS or text messaging allows text messages to be sent and received to and from mobile devices. It is called short because the maximum number of characters for a single message is capped at 160 consisting of words or numbers or an alphanumeric combination. …

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