Assessing Public Perceptions towards Sample Cell Broadcast (CB) Alerts in Nilambur, Kerala

In times, the utilisation of Cell Broadcast (CB) alerts has emerged as a tool for authorities to quickly share critical information with the public during emergencies. This research paper explores how people perceive and interact with the Sample Cell Broadcast (CB) alerts in Kerala, a region prone to disasters such as floods, landslides and cyclones. Given the frequency of these calamities it becomes essential to have crisis communication strategies in place to minimise human and property losses. Cell Broadcast (CB) alerts play a pivotal role in Kerala’s disaster management plan, highlighting the need to examine their reception among the population of the state. Several mobile users in India have received an “Emergency Alert” from the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) as part of their efforts to improve emergency communication during disasters. The government launched this initiative back in July 2023. They recently conducted a test broadcast on October 31st. The government has taken this step to improve safety during emergencies. To collect data, two micro Kudumbashree units were selected from the hazard prone Kalikavu Village in Nilambur Taluk, Malappuram District. This study employed a survey method that entailed distributing questionnaires to the participants. Through this approach, the study assessed participants’ awareness, perceptions, and experiences with the Sample Cell Broadcast (CB) alerts. The study offers an exploration of how individuals in disaster-prone regions of Nilambur Taluk perceive Sample Cell Broadcast (CB) alerts, with a focus on factors such as trustworthiness, credibility, and communication strategies affecting the system’s functionality. The findings offer insights for disaster management agencies and policymakers not only in Kerala but also, in other similar regions. These insights can help refine communication strategies and improve preparedness. These findings also offer recommendations to enhance communication strategies to improve alert systems and better prepare the public. By understanding how people perceive Cell Broadcast (CB), alerts authorities can improve their crisis communication strategies. This research contributes to the discussions on crisis communication and public perceptions in regions prone to disasters ultimately promoting stronger and more knowledgeable communities.

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