DAILY DOT COM - C Spire Wireless customers will now receive free, location-based notifications on capable mobile phones under a new national public safety warning system designed to alert consumers during emergencies.
Wireless carriers voluntarily broadcast the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) over their networks in cooperation with state and federal authorities under the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) program, but only after extensive testing and certification by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
C Spire recently received final FEMA approval to begin broadcasting the text-like, 90 character messages designed to warn consumers about severe weather threats, missing persons or Presidential alerts during national emergencies. Customers can opt out of weather and missing person alerts by adjusting their device notification settings, but Presidential alerts are mandatory.
"Alerts received at the right time can help keep you safe during an emergency," said Eric Hollingsworth, vice president of Network Operations for C Spire Wireless. "With WEA, warnings can be sent to your phone when you're in harm's way without the need to download an app or subscribe to a service."
C Spire currently offers 11 WEA-capable devices, which are identified with a special logo both in stores and online.
The devices include:
- iPhone 5
- iPhone 4S
- iPhone 4
- Samsung Galaxy S III
- Samsung Galaxy S 4
- Motorola PHOTON Q XT 897
- Motorola Milestone X2
- Motorola Defy XT 556
- HTC One V 6290
- BlackBerry Curve 9310 and 9330
The company plans to soon introduce its latest Android smartphone – the HTC One – and that device as well as all other smartphones manufactured and introduced beginning this year are WEA-capable.
Hollingsworth said the WEA messages feature a special tone and vibration that is repeated twice so users can easily identify these types of emergency alerts. In some smartphone models, there may be an audible warning.
The alerts are targeted to specific geographic areas where threats occur and Hollingsworth said customers will receive the message if they travel into an area where an alert has been issued or if they are already within the area using a WEA-capable device.
The alerts are required under the Warning, Alert and Response Network (WARN) Act, a 2006 law that established a voluntary, national emergency alert system called for by President Bush in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 al-Qaeda terrorist attacks on the U.S. that killed 3,000 people, damaged the Pentagon and destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City.
For more information about Wireless Emergency Alerts, click here.
The Annual Fairhope Christmas Parade was held Friday night and the warm weather did not stop the atmosphere from feeling like Christmas.
Prichard Police have launched several new initiatives in the wake of 3 bold business break-ins along Wilson Avenue this week.
Federal authorities say an Alabama man has been charged in a slaying at an Army post in southeast Georgia, but officials are releasing few details about the case.
Rain chances increase tonight, followed by much colder weather for Saturday...
Officials said new hotels may be coming to Foley in the near future and will help the progress of the city's planned multi-use facility as well as the Blue Collar Country entertainment complex.
According to Davidson County authorities, bar owner Christopher Michael Ferrell surrendered himself a short time ago on a Davidson County Grand Jury indictment, charging him with second-degree murder for the November 23 shooting death of …