On 25th June 2015, an agreement on the Regional Warning System was concluded in the Ministry of Administration and Digitization between the said Ministry, the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management and the telecommunications operators.
”This is the final step towards expanding the functionality of this system. Thanks to the agreement concluded with four mobile operators: Orange, Plus, T-Mobile and Play, in life- or health-threatening situations we will receive a text message send to our mobile phone. However, the text message option is reserved exclusively for really important warnings. Text messages shall be sent to the owners of mobile phones within the given voivodeship, providing they had not blocked this function”, said Andrzej Halicki, the Minister of Administration and Digitization.
The Minister said also:”It is a unique system, not only in Europe, but also in the whole world, and the most developer countries are jealous of it”. He emphasized that it would be great if all the Poles and those living in our country were aware that they have at their disposal a free tool, by means of which they will be timely warned against the emerging hazard.
Also, as of 1st June this year, the Regional Warning System shall encompass all the TVP channels broadcasted in the digital terrestrial television, that is: TVP 1, TVP 2, TVP Regionalna, TVP Info, TVP Kultura, TVP Polonia, TVP Historia and TVP Rozrywka.
“Consequently, anyone who has access to the Internet, public TV channels within the digital terrestrial television or the free app on his or her mobile phone (smartphone) can be informed about any potential threats or natural disasters” - added the head of the Ministry. Minister Andrzej Halicki also emphasized the involvement of services and institutions such as the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management or the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways.
Magdalena Gaj, the President of the Office of Electronic Communications stated that this initiative shows that we are above divisions and we can all work together in the name of greater good. The representatives of telecommunications companies taking part in the meeting emphasized that they are acting for the public good.
The Regional Warning System has been active since 1st January 2015. During that time, the system generated more than 1700 notifications and more than 400 warnings. By the end of May of the current year, the RSO mobile app [RSO is the abbreviation of the Polish name of the system] was downloaded more than 123 thousand times. The notifications sent by the system considered mainly meteorological warnings (e.g. strong wind, thunderstorms, icing), hydrological warnings (e.g. water levels), traffic information (e.g. traffic jams, repairs, detours) and other safety-related issues.
The notifications of the Regional Warning System are also available via the channels of Telewizja Polska (TVP) in the digital terrestrial multiplex MUX-3. The most important of them are displayed on a special bar on the TV screen. All messages are also available on teletext pages in channels TVP1, TVP 2, TVP Kultura, TVP Historia and TVP Polonia, starting from page 190 and in the TVP Regionalna from page 430.
The notifications are also available on the websites of the Province Governors’ Offices. Smartphone users can also easily obtain the free mobile app, available in the respective app stores (Google Play, Apple App Store, Windows Phone Store). The application can be found using the key words ”RSO” and “Regionalny System Ostrzegania”.
The pilot versions of the Regional Warning System had been tested in all voivodeships. The pilot Programme came to an end on 31st August 2014. The execution thereof was feasible further to the implementation of the Digital Terrestrial TV as well as thanks to the cooperation between Telewizja Polska SA, the Ministry of Administration and Digitization and the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management.
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More information at: www.mac.gov.pl./rso
Answers to most frequently asked questions concerning the Regional Warning System are available at the website of the Ministry of Administration and Digitization