The National Weather Service will be launching a new Wireless Emergency Alerts system to warn U.S. citizens about severe weather conditions including tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards right straight to their mobile devices. Essentially, a text-like message not more than 90 characters will be sent to people within an area where a specific warning has been issued. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that the text alert service is free and automatic, and that there’s no need to sign up or download an app.
“As long as your cell phone is WEA-capable, you’ll get wireless alerts for the most dangerous types of weather from NOAA’s National Weather Service no matter where you are, just as soon as the new service is available in your area,” NOAA said. The message will look like a text and it will automatically pop up on mobile devices without the need for opening it up just to read it.
NOAA added that the system will send alerts appropriate to your real-time geographic location. The Wireless Emergency Alerts system is currently compatible with Android and Windows Phone devices. Unfortunately, iPhone users will not be able to receive alerts as of the moment. But sources say that the system will be available on the iPhone in fall. The four wireless giants Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T have reportedly agreed to participate in the program.