Belgium's Minister of the Interior, Joëlle Milquet, announced the pilot launch of an emergency population warning and information system today (Monday 17 March 2014). Thales was selected in November 2013 by the Crisis Centre of the Federal Public Service (FPS) Internal Affairs to provide Belgium with this new system called BE-ALERT.
In response to various incidents in Belgium in recent years, the ability to alert the population rapidly, selectively and effectively is a central component of the Crisis Centre's policy to upgrade and extend its channels of communication.
Thales and programme partner Unified Messaging Systems (UMS)Norway, specialists in early warning and mass notification solutions, designed and implemented the BE-ALERT national warning system, incorporating proprietary technology from UMS, for the Belgian authorities responsible for crisis management at local, provincial and national level.
With its exceptional footprint in Belgium, Thales provided the Crisis Centre with additional support for the rollout of this pilot project, including local assistance, training operators and adapting the system to the customer's exact requirements.
BE-ALERT takes the form of a secure platform that is accessed via the Internet. With BE-ALERT, Belgium is empowering citizens to play a greater role intheir own safety and security, providing them with timely and relevant information and guidelines to follow in the event of an emergency.
From 17 March 2014, every citizen is invited to register with the system online at http://www.be-alert.be so that they can receive alerts directly.
Since the launch of the initial test phase in January, the 11 provincial governors and 33 pilot communities involved have been able to access the platform and application using specific ID credentials and broadcast alerts in the event of a crisis via SMS, fixed and mobile voice, email, fax and/or social networks.
After this test and analysis period, the BE-ALERT system will be rolled out nationally and made available to all governors and local authorities across the country.
Jaak Raes, director general of the Crisis Centre, Belgium, commented:"The Crisis Centre sees Thales as a solid and dependable partner to conduct this type of project to protect Belgium's citizens. Thales offered a tailored solution that met all of our requirements."