Get ready, emergency alerts are coming to your cellphone

Originally posted on Gigaom:

It’s that time of year when the weather gets crazy in the U.S., with drought, flash floods, tornadoes and hurricanes. And as many consumers are discovering, there’s a new tool hitting mobile devices that lets you know when a weather emergency is in your area. In the coming months you will soon start receiving unsolicited text messages when storms hit or other natural disasters are anticipated. Here’s what you need to know when the alerts roll in.

In April a law went into effect enabling Wireless Emergency Alerts on capable cell phones and on June 28 the National Weather Service started pushing out alerts. The system allows authorized government agencies to send messages directly to the towers of the major U.S. carriers who then transmit those messages to capable devices. Even if the user blocks SMS messages they’ll get these alerts — but they won’t pay for them.

When…

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