Emergency Broadcast System Coming Soon to a Cell Phone Near You

A system similar to the Emergency Broadcast System that interrupts your television programming to let you know of a nearby tornado or other trouble could be coming to your cell phone. Tested already in Florida and California, the system is expected to be rolled out in early 2012. It would -- for the time being -- send geographically-targeted text messages for local, state and national emergencies.

The communications company Alcatel-Lucent announced Tuesday that it's creating a Broadcast Message Center that will allow government agencies to send cell phone users specific information in the event of a local, state or national emergency. It will be similar to the TV alerts in that the text messages will be geographically targeted for areas where a tornado alert or major road closure, for example, is in effect.

The Broadcast Message Center is designed to help mobile phone companies comply with new federal rules outlined in the Federal Communication Commission's Commercial Mobile Alert System, the Urgent Communications journal reported. Under the new system, all phones would receive emergency alerts directly from the U.S. government about terrorist attacks or natural disasters, but users can opt out of receiving local warnings about weather, traffic accidents or Amber Alerts.

The Broadcast Message Center would act as a secure transfer center for messages to Americans' cell phones from government agencies like the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Read the full story at AolNews.

Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Technology

Just In