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Cell phone hurricane alerts launched by FEMA

With this year’s hurricane season set to kick off in a day’s time, and the tropics already beginning to hot up, emergency officials are saying that it is now simpler than ever before to keep up with evacuation shelters and storm alerts by using your new and old cell phones to access that information.


Craig Fugate, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, says that emergency managers will continue to use traditional media such as radio and television in order to alert people to dangerous situations.  However, a new system is now available to the great majority of smart-phone owners that will alert customers to geographic specific cautions in the event of a crisis.


“We’re now able to broadcast to cell phones… that’s been a huge evolution,” Fugate commented during a briefing at the White House yesterday.  “They’ll be able to get information in a push system… we have implemented the technology nationwide to begin pushing information to cell phones.”


Fugate was formerly Florida’s director of emergency management, and he was there during the monster hurricane seasons in 2004 and 2005.  He reminded Americans that they should make sure that they have a cell phone charger, in particular a car charger, among their emergency supply kit.  Earlier this year the Federal Communications Commission announced that the PLAN system now enables emergency officials to send specifically targeted alerts to particular areas via cell towers to users who are near that tower.