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New text messages from Federal Govnm will alert you in different city

Published: Jan. 10, 2012 at 10:50 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 15, 2012 at 10:45 PM CST
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OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) - The Federal Government is working on a new, cell-phone alert system. It's designed to inform Americans wherever they are.

Daviess County Emergency Management Deputy Director Walter Atherton says warning systems must adapt to modern lifestyles.

He says, "The old emergency alert system even back to the Conrad system back in the 50s is pretty well obsolete. If you're not home and don't have a weather radio, or not watching television, you don't know what's going on."

The Federal Government is trying to change that with a new alert system for mobile devices.

Atherton says, "An alert can either be sent by the President, by the Weather Service, even Amber Alerts will go over it."

Atherton tells 14 News the message will pop up on your cell phone if you're in the affected area, much like a text message would.

He says, "There will not be a charge for it. The message will be very short. They're only 90 characters so you will still need to tune into channel 14 to see what's going on."

Atherton says if you don't want to receive the alerts, you'll be able to log onto a website and turn them off. However, you will not be able to turn off the Presidential messages.

Officials believe the cell phone alert system will be ready by April.

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