As weather phenomena increase in intensity and frequency staying current about them it’s one of the best ways to avoid damage. The government has put together a system that will avert millions of dangerous weather. The governmental app sends weather alerts to your smartphone when a storm is heading your way.
The Washington Post writes that as of Thursday, whenever there’s a risk of a storm heading your way, a governmental app will get you informed. The governmental app is a program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and is designed to alert people of everything from tornadoes and hurricanes to extreme winds, flash floods or dust storms.
Amy Storey, CTIA – The Wireless Association spokeswoman, said: “These alerts will make sure people are aware of any impeding danger and provide them with the information needed so they can be safe until the threat is over”.
Without signing up for the service or paying anything, you will receive a 90-character text message on your smartphone that will alert you of dangerous weather. Late-model smartphones will alert you of the message using a particular tone and vibrate so you won’t miss it. However you can choose to opt out of the alert service if you want.
With AT&T Inc., Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel Corp and T-Mobile USA and other carriers on board with the weather alert, some 97 percent of today’s U.S. subscribers will be receiving the weather alerts. While Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile are able to offer the weather alert service nationwide, AT&T has a limited coverage area.
AT&T spokesman Michael Balmoris said the carrier is making the alert available in Portland, Oregon, New York City and Washington, D.C., but the area will be expanded over time.
For the moment, government officials estimate millions of people should be able to receive their weather alert. You will have to check with your phone carrier and see if your current smartphone is compatible with the system.
Cristal Davis, spokeswoman for Sprint Nextel said current smartphones in use will be automatically upgraded to be compatible with the governmental app.
The governmental weather alert system is on the overall a good idea, although some might worry the system could become intrusive. However, according to the carriers, your position will not be tracked through satellite GPS. The devices will pick up the message sent by cell towers if you are in the affected county.