Don't Get Caught in a Tsunami: Free Text Messages Can Save Your Life

By Stefania Viscusi July 03, 2012

Severe and catastrophic weather conditions have unfortunately become the norm here in the U.S. But from Hurricane Katrina to the current Colorado wildfires, the tremendous loss and fear has opened doors to improving our emergency response and alert systems.

The National Weather Service, together with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has now activated a Wireless Emergency Alerts system to send out warnings about tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis, flash floods, extreme winds, blizzards and ice and dust storms to anyone who may be in the path of life-threatening weather.

Currently participating wireless providers Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile are offering the services nationwide for later model Windows and Android devices.  AT&T will only provide services for the New York City, Washington, D.C. and Portland, Oregon market at this time – with iPhone support rumored to be expected in the fall.

The hope is that as the number of mobile phone users continues to grow, it will be possible to get the larger population informed about the latest weather conditions and out of harm’s way – even if they never listen to the radio or watch TV.

According to a recent Pew Study, 88 percent of U.S. adults are cell owners, with 46 percent of those users having a smartphone.

No more than 90 character texts will be issued along with a special tone and vibrate feature to ensure recipients are aware of the critical message being sent. While these messages are completely free, there is also an option to opt out for mobile users.

This weather text alert system is the biggest piece in a larger alert network planned by the U.S. Government. The service also garners support from other agencies that will notify the public about any important warnings – like AMBER Alerts as well as President-issued notifications which cannot be opted out of.




Edited by Braden Becker

Assignment Desk Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Four Reasons to Reach for the Cloud after World Earth Day

By: Special Guest    4/23/2018

The World Earth Day agenda offers a chance to flip the rationale for cloud adoption and highlight environmental benefits that the technology brings pr…

Read More

Bloomberg BETA: Models Are Key to Machine Intelligence

By: Paula Bernier    4/19/2018

James Cham, partner at seed fund Bloomberg BETA, was at Cisco Collaboration Summit today talking about the importance of models to the future of machi…

Read More

Get Smart About Influencer Attribution in a Blockchain World

By: Maurice Nagle    4/16/2018

The retail value chain is in for a blockchain-enabled overhaul, with smarter relationships, delivering enhanced transparency across an environment of …

Read More

Facebook Flip-Flopping on GDPR

By: Maurice Nagle    4/12/2018

With GDPR on the horizon, Zuckerberg in Congress testifying and Facebook users questioning loyalty, change is coming. What that change will look like,…

Read More

The Next Phase of Flash Storage and the Mid-Sized Business

By: Joanna Fanuko    4/11/2018

Organizations amass profuse amounts of data these days, ranging from website traffic metrics to online customer surveys. Collectively, AI, IoT and eve…

Read More