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U.S. Government, wireless carriers launch weather emergency alerts this month

News by Dan Seifert on Monday May 14, 2012.

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The U.S. Government and wireless carriers in the States are set to launch the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system this month. The WEA is a free service that uses text message alerts to inform cellular phone users of nearby weather emergencies.

The alerts will warn users of weather emergencies and dangerous weather conditions such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, typhoons, blizzards, dust storms, extremely high winds, and ice storms. The system is location based, so users will only get alerts that apply to where they are currently located.

The WEA system is supported by AT&T, Cellcom, Cricket, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless, which combined offer cellular service to about 97 percent of the users in the United States. Messages can also be issued for missing children notices and Presidential Alerts for national emergencies. Wireless users will be able to opt out of the missing children and weather alerts, but not the Presidential notices. The National Weather Service says that the messages will be short, typically 90 characters or fewer.

source: USA Today, via: Phone Scoop

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Dan Seifert
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.

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