Rawpixel.com/ShutterstockIn 1996, the first Amber Alert was issued. This emergency bulletin is used to notify the public of a Child Abduction Emergency and its communicative efficacy is hard to argue with. Amber Alerts are issued through pretty much every medium possible, being sent out through road signs, television, radio, and even smartphones.
The service isn’t something that you opt into, but this isn’t the case with every emergency notification. The Reverse 911 law was enacted to notify residents of emergencies in their area, but it isn’t quite as far-reaching as the Amber Alert, because it relies solely on telephone services, specifically landlines. (Thinking about ditching your landline? Read this first.)
This becomes an issue because just over 50 percent of households in the United States no longer use a landline at all, and solely rely on cell services. The Reverse 911 law was drawn up before cell phones were widely used, so now there are plenty of people that just don’t have a working number in the emergency alert databases.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to solve this problem. The alert system generally operates on a county to county basis, so all you need to do is type in your home county and “emergency alert.”
For New York state, their page prompts you with the standard account creation verbiage, then asks you how you would like to receive the alerts, and then asks for an address. Once the address is typed in, the site locks in your desired alerting area, and then asks you about what alerts you want to receive. The options range from severe weather notifications to nuclear power plant information to transit alerts.
Now that you’re up to date on your local alerts, be sure to get your iPhone’s SOS function up and running—it could really be a life-saver.
[Source: The Daily Dot]