NOAA Rolls Out Emergency Weather Alerts Via Cellphone Messaging
July 6, 2012 at 3:54 AM (PT)
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE is rolling out a text message-style emergency weather alert system, allowing cellphone users to get wireless alerts for the most severe weather, reports UPI.
The NATIONAL OCEANOGRAPHIC AND WEATHER SERVICE said that the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) service is free and automatic, with no sign-up necessary for users of certain capable cellphones, and will use a unique ring and vibration. NOAA adds that the messages, which will be "location aware," are not being sent as text messages but will use "a different kind of technology to ensure they are delivered immediately and are not subjected to potential congestion (or delays) on wireless networks."
The radio industry has been lobbying for FM chips in cellphones for a similar reason, to get severe weather information to users via cellphones in emergencies.