Stemming from requirements in the Warning Alert and Response Network Act of 2006, the FCC has approved a plan to create a nationwide emergency alert system that makes use of text messages sent to mobile phones. The system could be in place by 2010. Carriers will not be required to participate in the program and subscribers will be able to opt out. Alerts could fall into one of three categories: a national alert from the president probably related to terrorism or natural disaster; an alert regarding imminent threats like school shootings, hurricanes and tornadoes; or Amber Alerts for missing children.
For more on the service:
- read this article from the WSJ (sub. req.)