Here, when there are going to be scheduled water or power cuts, or dengue fever alerts, or that sort of thing, vans with loudpseakers drive around the neighborhood telling everyone what’s going on. We also sometimes have trishaws and guys on bicycles or motorbikes – all with loudspeaker systems – riding around neighborhoods saying stuff.
That actually works very well here, it’s feasable, it’s relatively inexpensive, can be quick enough to deploy, and it’s not specific to any one type of problem.
However. The announcements are generally in Sinhalese only, or Tamil only, depending on the area. So the Burghers and the foreigners would be left clueless. On the other hand, if it’s out in public at the beach where this sort of announcement is being made, there will likely be at least one person who can translate – and they do!
This would work. More than that, this would work very well.
The problem, from what I understand, is that no one in the US – who knew that the disaster was coming – had any idea who to contact in our governments. There was no protocol set up. And even if they had, there was no system set up here like a phone tree to contact necessary people. But this can be rectified without a lot of work at our end.