OMG! New severe weather texting system to debut

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Starting this month, Uncle Sam will be sending wireless emergency alerts via text messages whenever there is a severe weather warning, amber alert, or national emergency.

The alerts will be location-based, so if someone from Boise is in Chicago and Chicago is threatened by a tornado, the Boise resident will get the alert.

"The National Weather Service sees this as a great partnership to get important lifesaving information into the hands of people who are in the direct path of a hazard," says Jay Breidenbach, warning coordination meteorologist for the NOAA and the NWS.

Alerts will be sent only in the event of a warning, not a watch, and will be followed by instructions of how to stay safe during the event and where to go for more information. There is no fee for these texts and you do not need to sign up to receive them.

The alerts will run on a congestion-resistant system different from regular text messages. You can opt-out of the Amber and weather alerts, but not the Presidential emergency alerts.


Read more about the Commercial Mobile Alert System.