National emergency alert system using cell phones set to launch

WASHINGTON (AP) - A national system that will send emergency
alerts to cell phones is set to begin in Washington and New York
City by the end of the year.
The Federal Communications Commission and Federal Emergency
Management Agency said Monday the system will warn people about
terrorist attacks, natural disasters or other emergencies.
Starting next year all new cell phones will be required to have
a chip that receives the alerts. Some smart phones already have the
technology. People can opt out of certain alerts, like the amber
alerts for missing children.
The alert system will send the emergency messages even if other
cell phone voice or text services aren't working. It is expected to
be in place in cities across the country by the end of next year.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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