National Emergency Alert System Set To Launch In NYC
Starting next year, all new cell phones will be required to have a chip that receives the alerts. Some smart phones already have the technology.
People can opt out of certain alerts, like the amber alerts for missing children.
The alert system will send the emergency messages even if other cell phone voice or text services aren’t working.
The new system will be in place in New York City and Washington by the end of the year and in cities across the country by the end of next year.
King of New York calls Alerts ‘Quantum Leap Forward’
Emergency officials will soon be able to blast critical alerts to anyone with a cell phone in a certain section of the city.
If Times Square needs to be evacuated because of a bomb threat or if a hurricane is bearing down on Queens, warnings will be bounced from cell towers.
“Making sure that [people] get useful and life-saving information, quickly and easily, right on their mobile phones, will help more people get out of harm’s way when a threat exists,” said Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator W. Craig Fugate.
The system – called PLAN or Personal Localized Alerting Network – uses cell phone towers to send messages to everyone currently in a certain area, regardless of whether they’re visiting from out of town or have a phone registered elsewhere. People won’t have to register in advance to receive the alerts.