New emergency alert system to be transmitted to cell phones
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SOUTHPORT, N.C. -- Travelers will be able to receive emergency messages tailored specifically to their location thanks to a new alert system. The Wireless Emergency Alert System will be enacted on most major cell phone carriers and is expected to start in the coming months.
The free service will provide messages from the president, nationwide Amber Alerts, as well as emergency weather alerts. Once the cell phone tower receives the messages, it will send it out to every cell phone in the surrounding area.
Emergency management officials on the coast said the service will be helpful in reaching tourists during vacation season.
"We do know the coastal area is a big tourist area, so when we have to get messages out or the National Weather Service has to get messages out for events and people are on the beach and they are not from here and they don't have weather radios, this is an automatic message because almost everyone has a cell phone," said Scott Garner, the deputy director of Emergency Services in Brunswick County.
Everyone will be opted in to the service, however Garner said some of the messages will allow for recipients to opt out of receiving certain ones.
For more information on the service, visit http://www.fcc.gov/guides/commercial-mobile-alert-system-cmas