LINCOLN--Emergency officials are now using text alerts to send information when threatening weather approaches.
In weather emergencies getting information quickly can sometimes make the difference between life and death; which is why the National Weather Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency and cell phone providers teamed up to keep people safe.
The new Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) look like a text message, but unlike text messages, which are sent directly to a personal phone, these warnings will be sent to all phones within range of designated cell tower. Alerts will have general information such as what type of warning is issued and how long it will be issued for.
The NWS hopes the messages will prompt people to tune to local weather broadcasting station and or NOAA All-hazard radios for what's happening and what action to take.
Cell phone providers will not be charging for the messages sent out. Some phones may not receive the messages yet but cell phone companies are working to have all phone receiving messages within 2 years.