If there were a tornado headed your way, what would you think if you were able to receive a text message letting you know of it? In the next few years, it might be a possibility. Currently, the FCC has the Emergency Alert System put in place in which broadcasters (including Cable, radio, Satellite, etc.) provide the communication capability to the President to address the public during a National Emergency. It’s also used more commonly for Amber Alerts and weather alerts. The system works, but the FCC is looking into actually utilizing the new technology available to create text messaging emergency alert system. It would be used nationwide in the U.S. and those with mobile phone devices would receive a text message if there was an emergency.
BetaNews reports that the process of establishing such a system has just started and that participation by carriers would be optional. While participation is optional, they say, “AT&T, Verizon, Alltel, Sprint, Nextel, and T-Mobile have reportedly all contributed favorably to discussions toward the formation of a system similar to the US’ current Emergency Alert System for broadcasters, though which would relay national emergency warnings to cell phones users.”
This sounds like a great idea, especially if a text message in an emergency were sent free of any additional charges. Your wireless service could really serve a whole new purpose and play an important role in notifying people when an emergency occurs. Living in an area prone to tornadoes myself, it would be great to know if one was in the area by simply getting a text message.Whether it be a tornado, a hurricane, wild fires, flooding, or the report of a child missing, this could potentially be extremely beneficial. At this point they say the plan won’t take effect for another two years, so don’t expect text message alerts anytime soon.