Emergency Alert via Cell Phone

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(Sacramento, CA)
Sunday, April 2, 2006

Imagine there’s a major earthquake, or levee break, and an evacuation has been ordered.   Under a bill by Democratic Assemblywoman Fran Pavley, you’d get word immediately via a text message on your cell phone – courtesy of the office of emergency services, and your wireless provider.

“Let’s say a massive earthquake – wouldn’t you want to know that the 405, the 101 or whatever is down, and not to consider using that as an evacuation route?”

Wireless companies support the concept, says Steve Carlson with CTIA, the Wireless Association…but if everyone who received a text called loved ones right away…..

 “The system couldn’t handle it and one of the negatives of that would be the first responders who need to have cell phone service would not be able to get on because the networks are completely buried.”

Carlson says the industry’s already working to establish a national system, but that’s still a few years off.