New system sends emergency alerts straight to your cellphone

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- With weather worries and recent Amber Alerts, cell phone and text messages are becoming a very useful tool.

A lot of people are getting these message alerts without signing up for anything because they are getting newer technology.

Phones being sold today have a small chip in them that the FCC is enforcing so people can get the important text messages.

Thursday's tumultuous weather sent out text message alerts as warnings. And some St. Lousians learned about the Hailey Owens’ Amber Alert from their cell phone.

And if anything unfortunately would happen like 9-11 again, you will get an emergency alert immediately on your hand held device.

They're called Wireless Emergency Alerts and the only ones you can shut off are the amber alerts and weather alerts.

The emergency alerts were created back in 2012 but has become more common with newer technology.  All wireless carriers have the alerts and it doesn’t cost you anything.

If you haven't gotten the alerts on your phone it's probably because of its age.

Now some people may think that they can download the alerts kinda like the Fox 2 now app but that's not how it works. The alerts are installed in the chips that are placed in the new phones and go off through the FCC.


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