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Emergency Broadcasts

Are they in place? (July 2016)

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TI
ThisIsMe
Hey,

With terrorism threats all over the world, and strained foreign relations at the moment, we have to admit that we're at risk. Are there emergency broadcast systems in place for situations such as World War III etc?
WH
Whataday Founding member
Yes. Would they last more than 3 seconds into a nuclear attack? Probably not.
JD
JDN
Depends on Putin.
AE
AlexEdohHD13
Hey,

With terrorism threats all over the world, and strained foreign relations at the moment, we have to admit that we're at risk. Are there emergency broadcast systems in place for situations such as World War III etc?


This is the question that nobody has dared ask - AND one worth asking.
HC
Hatton Cross
And if course, if the order is given and the emergency broadcast system is activated...

..someone on here is bound to ask what ident was used to go into the announcement...
..someone will moan about the size of the fonts on the astons..
...a discussion will break out speculating if Good Morning Britain will have new graphics and opening titles in the morning...
...and the BBC bashers will be out in force, asking why they are wasting money on informing viewers, when ITV and Sky News can do the job better and cheaper.

Can't wait! Very Happy
LL
Larry the Loafer
If I could like that post more than once, Hatton Cross, I would.
NJ
Neil Jones Founding member
During WWII TV broadcasts (yes they did exist) were stopped primarily because the government of the day thought the signals could be used by the enemy as a homing device.

However that was back in the days of VHF television, and since then we have had UHF television and now digital TV, and we live in a word jammed to the rafters with transmissions of all kinds - mobile phones/network, wireless computer networks, satellite transmissions of various kinds. Whether such an argument stands up today is probably up for debate.

Radio was the order of the day last time round and if there was such a need for mass communication in an emergency situation it will probably be the same again.

This also allows me to wheel out the script that was declassified a few years ago that would have probably scared the crap out of most people if they heard it on Radio 4:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/03_10_08nuclearattack.pdf
IT
IndigoTucker
I imagine there is some sort of override that would cut in to the main channels if needed by the government. Isn't that a clause of being a public service broadcaster? The missing child system introduced after the Soham murders, used once in prime time IIRC, and would operate in a similar fashion?
NJ
Neil Jones Founding member
I imagine there is some sort of override that would cut in to the main channels if needed by the government. Isn't that a clause of being a public service broadcaster? The missing child system introduced after the Soham murders, used once in prime time IIRC, and would operate in a similar fashion?


The government do have the right under one of the Broadcasting Acts (1980 I think?) to interrupt broadcasts if needs be.

You're referring to the UK version of the American Amber Alert system, called the Child Rescue Alert. Not all areas have it, but it's since moved more towards what the American system does - a mass alert/mailer system through text/email/boards/local media as opposed to the original intent of interrupting TV and radio, though that may still happen in an Amber Alert.
VM
VMPhil
I believe MrTomServo answered this question many years ago.

https://web.archive.org/web/20040601051629/http://www.tvforum.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1795#31083
paul_hadley and Critique gave kudos
MA
Maaixuew
The United States have a system in place entitled the Emergency Alert System (EAS) which can override both radio and television broadcasts if need be. Here is an example of the American 'Amber Alert' system in operation using the radio service:



And an example of a Tornado Warning from Clinton County, NY dated July 27 2010 using the television service:

LL
Larry the Loafer
I don't know what I'd hate more about living in America. Being susceptible to tornadoes, or bring subject to EAS broadcasts in the middle of the night.
tmorgan96 and Warbler gave kudos

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