Your New Cell Phone is About to Begin Recieving Free Weather Alerts

If you have attended my TORNADOSAFE live tornado safety presentations or have read this blog lately, you know how strongly I feel that everyone should have access to severe weather warnings.  The National Weather Service is doing a great job of issuing warnings – it’s up to US to hear them.  That’s why I’m happy about a new free service that is being offered by most major cell phone carriers in conjunction with the government.

This new service began sending severe weather warnings cell phones last month.  The service is free and you don’t even have to sign up for it!  The warnings are sent to you through the Wireless Emergency Alert system (WEA).  This has been in the works a very long time but if finally rolled out nationwide a few weeks ago.  Generally, you’ll need a cellphone with a specific chip in it that will receive the warnings which will be sent to you based on your location through GPS (Look for the logo at the top of this post when you’re buying a new cell phone).  To avoid clogging traditional cell phone systems, the warnings are sent on a less crowded system known as CMAS, hence the need for the special phone chip, which are being included on most newer phones.  This is just another step in ensuring Americans aren’t surprised by severe weather any more.  I can’t stand to see interviews after tornadoes have ripped apart a subdivision where people say, “We had no warning.”  Chances are, they had warning – they just didn’t hear it…  This new service is the exactly the kind of thing we need to give people the opportunity to protect their families and survive extreme weather events…

Read more here from USA TODAY.

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