The Federal Communications Commission approved the new alert system that has cooperation with cell phone carriers such as AT&T which will allow emergency text messages to be sent to its subscribers.
“The ability to deliver accurate and timely warnings and alerts through cell phones and other mobile services is an important next step in our efforts to help ensure that the American public has the information they need to take action to protect themselves and their families prior to, and during, disasters and other emergencies,” said FCC chairman Kevin J. Martin following approval of the plan.
The text notification program is a product of the Warning Alert and Response Network Act, a 2006 federal law requiring the Federal Communications Commission to develop upgrades to the emergency alert system.
Text alerts such as terrorist attacks and Amber alerts are some of the information planned for the new system.
In recent years, text messages have exploded in popularity, particularly among young people. The trade group for the wireless industry, CTIA, estimates more than 48 billion text messages are sent each month.