Beginning this month, wireless carriers are launching a system to automatically warn people of dangerous weather and other emergencies via a special type of text messaging to cellphones. The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) service is free, and you don't have to sign up. The alerts will be location-based so if you're traveling, you will get an alert for your specific location.
Alerts will be issued for such life-threatening events as tornadoes, flash floods, hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis, dust storms, extreme winds, blizzards and ice storms.
A spokesman for the National Weather Service said that these text alerts will be very brief and generally under 90 characters. An alert will look like a text, but the system uses a different technology that isn't subject to congestion or wireless network delays.
Please remember to always have a backup source for weather alerts such as a battery operated weather radio.