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RE: EM Standards List

From: Tom Worthington <Tom.Worthington@tomw.net.au>
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2008 12:05:16 +1100
To: "Don Cameron" <donc@internode.on.net>,<public-xg-eiif@w3.org>, <public-xg-eiif-request@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20080227012045.C27D4E13E@heartbeat1.messagingengine.com>

At 08:40 PM 26/02/2008, Don Cameron wrote:
>... Tom ... Do you have any further info on the standard used by 
>Tsunami Warning Centres? ...

I know of no formal published standards adopted specifically for 
Tsunami Warning Centers. There are proposals, such as Renato's 
Tsunami Warning Markup Language (TWML) 
<http://xml.coverpages.org/TsunamiWarningML-V10-20060725.pdf>. NOAA 
are experimenting with the use of CAP 
<http://www.nws.noaa.gov/alerts/> and other centers  will likely 
follow that. But at present they are mostly using Telex era text 
messages with a loosely structured format. This can cause problems 
when used over the Internet and by a wider audience than EM 

There are some graphical formats being used by NOAA, but with a lack 
of standardization. NOAA's Tsunami Warning Centers use a four level 
scale of alert. But the Pacific center represents this with a dial 
similar to the Australian bushfire warning scale 
whereas the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center 
<http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/> use a traffic light indicator 

However, given that you dismissed non-legislated standards suggested 
by lay non-EM experts, such as myself, the above discussion may not 
be of use. For what it is worth, I suggest a bottom up approach to 
standards, to better reflect what actually happens in emergencies and 
to best make use of the Web technology.

In my limited experience, from having worked in Australian Defence 
Force Headquarters and been in the Canberra bush fire emergency, most 
EM work is not done by EM professionals and is not directed by 
legislation. It is done by individuals acting on their own initiative 
and by organisations, including  government agencies, through their 
normal administrative processes. The web could be used to better 
coordinate such community effort. The standards and processes 
actually used could be aligned with formal standards and laws. In 
this way the efforts of the community could be better assisted by EM 

The alternative "top down" approach is one I saw cause numerous 
expensive problems at the Department of Defence. Having spent years 
trying to use standards which were legislated, but did not actually 
work (and no one with any sense actually used), I would not recommend 
this approach for EM. Even the military have came to realize that 
using technologies which work, and which allow working with the rest 
of the community, was a good idea <http://www.tomw.net.au/nt/tt97.html>.

Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington@tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617                      http://www.tomw.net.au/
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, ANU  
Received on Wednesday, 27 February 2008 01:21:01 UTC

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