Opinion / The Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com
New smartphone alert system is smart idea
The federal government is now watching out for smartphone users in the path of dangerous storms. Urgent warnings about severe weather - tornadoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, flash floods and the like - will be sent out by the National Weather Service and delivered to all mobile devices equipped to receive them.
The Associated Press reports that while not all carriers will be able to handle the messages right away, the biggest companies that serve millions of smartphone users offer phones that can receive the alerts. Apple's iPhones will join the system this fall, though details are not available.
These Wireless Emergency Alerts system warnings are not something that you will have to sign up for - any phones in a danger zone will receive the free messages. You will, however, be able to opt out of the alert, but why would you? That 90-character message may just save your life one day.