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Emergency Text System Crawls Toward Cell Phones, Away From High-Pitched Obsolescence

alcatel-lucent emergency message flowchartTwo years ago, FEMA and the FCC began working toward an emergency alert system for cell phones. Such services already exist in various municipalities and foreign nations, and now the FCC, FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security have finally initiated the implementation of the U.S.'s own national system.

The FCC recently commissioned Alcatel-Lucent to create a Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS), which will serve as a technologically relevant Emergency Broadcast System. The program would conceivably disseminate -- via a Broadcast Message Center -- geographically specific notifications about storms, natural disasters or other potentially dangerous situations. Alcatel-Lucent's Morgan Wright reportedly told MSNBC it has become "mission critical for service providers to be able to share critical, time-sensitive information" to mobile customers. California and Florida have apparently already performed CMAS test runs, and the program is predicted to meet FCC regulations by 2012.

The system will reportedly begin with a simple text system, but don't worry about losing that familiar piece of Americana -- the screeching, yet strangely comforting wail. The CMAS will, eventually, also incorporate multimedia messages.

Tags: emergency, EmergencyBroadcastSystem, EmergencyTextMessaging, FCC, FEMA, government, naturaldisasters, top