US to send text messages about national emergencies

By on November 18, 2010, 8:00 AM
Mobile phone owners will soon receive text warnings about severe weather and other crises, according to Alcatel-Lucent. The communications company revealed plans this week to create a Broadcast Message Center (BMC) that will let government agencies send text messages about local, state or national emergencies -- not unlike the Emergency Broadcast System that is used to transmit alerts over the television.

Given the nature of mobile tech, you're bound to have a phone in your pocket, but you may not be near a TV in a state of emergency, so it's easier to instantly reach the masses via text messages than older mediums.

Messages will be geographically-targeted and will include less-than-catastrophic occurrences such as road closures or traffic accidents. That could get annoying, so you'll be able opt out of receiving those types of messages. However, warnings about national security, natural disasters and other such matters will be sent to everyone.

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