Updated: Friday, 10 Aug 2012, 3:34 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 15 May 2012, 5:35 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WTHI) - There are several ways to stay informed of severe thunderstorms when it strikes; however, there is now a new service in the works to keep you informed of weather alerts as your travel within the United States.
Major wireless carriers such as Verizon, AT&T and Sprint teamed up with the National Weather Service (NWS) and other federal agencies to include another means to be warned when extreme weather strikes.
Starting this month, in 90 characters or less, you will receive automatic text messages from your cell phone carrier, if your cell phone is able to support the message, when there is a immediate severe weather threat for your location.
This wireless emergency alert service is free, and there’s no need to sign up.
Alerts will be issued for any weather that has the potential to be life-threatening, such as tornados, extreme winds, flooding, blizzard, ice storms and lake effects. There will not be alerts issued for just severe weather.
Here’s how it works in brief:
The technology used is different than standard text messaging. This message will have a special tone and vibration similar to that of the NWS warning you hear on radio and T.V., both repeated twice.
Wireless emergency alerts are meant to be used in conjunction with other sources, such as NOAA weather radios and television outlets like us here at WTHI News10.
The real advantage here is to keep you safe when severe weather strikes and you are far from home.
The new wireless emergency alerts service also includes messaging for Amber Alerts and presidential alerts for national emergencies.
You can opt out of the severe weather alerts and Amber Alerts, but not presidential alerts.
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