Businesses in Birmingham are being urged to plan for the worst as part of a new strategy aimed at dealing with disasters in the city centre.
Council leaders are urging businesses to sign up to a new priority alert scheme which gives them up to the minute information on major disruption.
The mobile phone alert project will help emergency services evacuate the city centre if there is an emergency caused by a terrorist alert or freak weather.
It is being rolled out as part of a new joined up approach in dealing with civil emergencies which has been set up by Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Police, and 14 other partner agencies.
Sharon Lea, director of community services and resilience, said: "We have to make plans that are joined up. All the agencies have produced a plan which we have worked on over the last 12 months.
"This is to ensure that we are all very clear about what we each do during an emergency because we want to make sure we deal with such instances effectively."
The new alert system, which will be operated by private company Vocal Communications, will cost small businesses £7.25 a month and larger firms £16.75 a month.
By signing up they can be alerted not only to possible civil emergencies, but also any traffic problems that are causing misery for commuters.
As part of the emergency strategy, Birmingham city centre has been divided up into 32 separate districts. Staff at a central headquarters will be able to evacuate any one of this districts via the new alert system.