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.

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

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

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

Video

The Rise of the Cat Tattoo

How a Brooklyn tattoo artist popularized the "cattoo"

More in Technology

Just In