Police State Embrace | Phones Required to Receive ‘Homeland’ Alerts

National Emergency Alert System Set To Launch In NYC


CBSNewYork

NEW YORK, (CBSNewYork/AP) – A new national alert system is set to begin in New York City that will alert the public to emergencies via cell phones.

The announcement of the new emergency alert system came Monday in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death and an uptick in security and safety concerns around New York City.

The Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency said the system will warn people about terrorist attacks, natural disasters or other emergencies.

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.

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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.