IT-alert: territorial testing phase concluded on October 13
All Regions and the Autonomous Provinces of Bolzano and Trento were involved in the tests. Approximately 2.7 million survey questionnaires were completed
The second phase of experimentation on territories of IT-alert, the Italian public warning system, ended on Friday, October 13. The last event involved the Autonomous Province of Bolzano in conjunction with the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction and Civil Protection Week 2023. As part of this test, an exercise organized by the Autonomous Province of Trento involved a series of IT-alert messages in the Brenta River basin in Valsugana to test the system in small mountain areas.
Between the end of June and the first half of October, the Civil Protection Department, in collaboration with the civil protection structures of the Regions and the Autonomous Provinces of Bolzano and Trento, and with the help of the entire National Service, organized testing activities directly involving the population. The goal was to introduce people to IT-alert and, more importantly, test its operation on different phones and operating systems, directly gathering input from users, i.e., those who might be involved in emergencies and receive the message once the system runs.
About 2.7 million surveys were completed during the testing activities in all Italian Regions and Autonomous Provinces.
Based on the figures, 93% of those who filled out the form stated that they received the test message, while the remaining 7% indicated that they did not receive it even though they were located in the relevant areas. In confirmation of the outcome of the first five tests conducted in June and July, 92% of those who received the message responded that they found it clear.
In addition, compared to the total number of those who indicated that they had received the message, 89% said they had no problems interacting with it. The main difficulty encountered remains the disappearance of the message after display.
Overall, the data show a gradual improvement in quality compared to the June and July tests and confirm a positive trend in user experience; however, intensive revision and implementation of the system will be required until it can become effectively and efficiently operational.
Even though 86% of the participants confirmed that they had heard about IT-alert in the days preceding the testing activities, mainly through social media and the web, during the first five tests, a feeling of fright prevailed. In contrast, positive and neutral moods of astonishment, surprise, and calm prevailed this time.
When asked, "Did you immediately understand that it was an institutional message?" the 59% positive response from the first tests now becomes 89%. However, the remaining 11% still thought it might be a virus.