What Does a Civil Emergency Message Mean?

What Does a Civil Emergency Message Mean?

A warning alert is issued to the general public in face of an emergency. This article takes a look at the system of issuing alerts, civil emergency messages, that are used during emergencies.
On December 12, a test alert by 'Verizon' had increased the flow of calls to the police department, from confused residents, by a few times. This prompted the PD authorities to issue a new alert of their own stating that there was no emergency, the alert by the telecommunication service provider was not valid and appealed the citizens, 'DO NOT CALL THE POLICE'.

The only predictable thing that remains in our lives is that it has become pretty darn unpredictable. There are so many things that can happen in a day that no one of us can predict any of those happenings (small or big) in our busy day-to-day routine. Not to sound gloomy or scary, but it is a matter of fact. A Civil Emergency Alert comes in handy in such moments for the administrators as well as the citizens. The 'SAME' code of Civil Emergency Message is CEM. SAME, Same Area Message Encoding, is a protocol that is used in the United States to encode a mass alert that is to be sent out in case of an emergency.

What Does a Civil Emergency Message Mean?

A Civil Emergency Message (CEM) is an alert from the authorities to the citizens of the concerned area of an impending threat to life and/or property along with the possible measures that they can take in order to safeguard themselves from it. The authorities that can send such a civil emergency warning can be a local or a national.

Such an alert is sent out after judging the severity of the situation at hand. This system comes in handy to warn the people and also provide them with protection. The system is used when sending out alerts about any climate and weather-related emergencies as well as for non-weather emergencies. This system is used in tandem with other systems so that the President of the United States can address the nation within 10 minutes of a national emergency.

The emergencies in which CEM is issued include,
  • If a storm is building up
  • In case of a terror attack
  • If there is a possibility of floods
Given below are examples of such warnings.

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
CIVIL EMERGENCY MESSAGE
RELAYED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TULSA OK
554 AM CST MON NOV 12 2012

THE TULSA POLICE DEPARTMENT HAS REPORTED A BLOWN NATURAL GAS
LINE NEAR 89TH STREET AND MEMORIAL AVENUE IN TULSA COUNTY.
THE TULSA PD IS CURRENTLY ORDERING EVACUATIONS FROM 73RD EAST
AVENUE TO 83RD EAST AVENUE JUST NORTH OF 91ST STREET.

BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
CIVIL EMERGENCY MESSAGE
OKLAHOMA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY NORMAN OKLAHOMA
RELAYED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK
850 PM CDT SAT AUG 4 2012

THIS MESSAGE IS FROM THE CITY OF ALTUS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
OFFICE AND IS SENT AT THE REQUEST OF PUBLIC WORKS.

BECAUSE OF A POWER FAILURE AT TOM STEED RESERVOIR...THE WATER
SUPPLY HAS BEEN TEMPORARILY INTERRUPTED. ALTUS WATER CUSTOMERS ARE
ASKED TO REFRAIN FROM UNNECESSARY WATER USE UNTIL 6 PM SUNDAY
AUGUST 5TH. AGAIN...DO NOT WATER LAWNS...WASH CARS...AND RUN WATER
INTO THE STREET BECAUSE OF THE POWER FAILURE AT TOM STEED.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION TO THIS REQUEST.

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WAKEFIELD VA
651 PM EDT WED AUG 26 1998

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN WAKEFIELD HAS ISSUED

A TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHERN BERTIE COUNTY IN NORTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA
SOUTHERN HERTFORD COUNTY IN NORTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA

UNTIL 710 PM EDT

AT 649 PM EDT...SPOTTERS INDICATED A TORNADO 12 MILES
NORTHEAST OF WINDSOR OR 8 MILES SOUTHEAST OF POWELLSVILLE
MOVING WEST NORTHWEST AT 55 MPH.

THE TORNADO IS EXPECTED TO BE NEAR...
POWELLSVILLE AT 655 PM EDT
BURDEN AT 700 PM EDT
CONNARITSA AT 700 PM EDT
AULANDER AT 705 PM EDT

IF YOU ARE IN THESE AREAS...SEEK SAFETY IN A SMALL INTERIOR ROOM
AWAY FROM WINDOWS. A BASEMENT OFFERS THE BEST PROTECTION. GO TO A
BASEMENT OR A SMALL INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR.

This system can also be used to describe briefly the steps that are being taken to counter extremist threats. It can help the people to take any and every step they can to avoid a natural or man-made calamity.