A little rain must fall

It is absolutely bucketing down here in Adelaide, with windy, stormy, and sort of wonderfully wild weather. I believe Victoria is experiencing similar conditions. This means we have had intermittent blackouts – today’s lasting all afternoon and into the dark evening.

Ok, Romana, great, what has that to do with Serval? Quite a lot, actually. With less than four hours of blackout, Dr Paul just let me know that his mobile phone is set to roaming. He lives two blocks from a major mobile phone tower. He normally has full coverage. So, a perfect illustration of where Serval would have kicked in. What if he wasn’t able to even get a roaming signal?

We live in metropolitan Adelaide. We in big cities are so used to having everything just work. Power, phones, all at our fingertips. What happens when it doesn’t? When the power goes out. Not just to our homes and businesses, but to the infrastructure behind our communications? When we are in the dark, and we can’t call out?

Today, in Victoria, the biggest floods in 15 years hit. This is the place that had the perfect storm of bushfires in February 2009, known as Black Saturday. An emergency warning system has been implemented since then, to alert people to evacuate in times of danger. Ironically, perhaps, today it has been used for the first time, for flooding alerts. The system relies on radio and phone messages – SMS sent out to residents. What happens if the towers are down in the emergency? How do the alerts get out?

This is the perfect illustration of why we have invented Serval  – to be there,  to help ensure the system works, and works well. By keeping your existing number, you can receive the alerts, even if the infrastructure is damaged. Thankfully, the infrastructure seems to have worked this time.

We at Serval have developed our software to make sure it is available every time, no matter what.

We aren’t alarmist. We just want, no, we are absolutely passionate, about making sure that Serval, which has been developed to save lives, gets a chance to save lives as it was meant to. To give security, to allow for communications, to ensure people stay connected.

No matter what.

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