Minnesotans to get emergency alerts on cellphones 19 Jun 12

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Severe weather and other emergency alerts are coming soon to Minnesotans’ smartphones and cellphones.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says it will be ready to send imminent threat alerts by the end of this week. Severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service should be available in the next week or two.

The Wireless Emergency Alerts are specific to location. That means recipients will receive the alerts based on where they are, not where they live.

The message will include what action to take. The alerts will look like a text message on new phones; cellphones will vibrate and sound a tone.

The text messages are free and use a technology that will allow them to get through during high-volume times when a traditional text message might not.