A Missing Person
In the early morning hours on August 4, 2013, cell phones across California were abuzz with a distress signal after law enforcement issued an Amber Alert for the alleged abduction of a teenager whose mother and brother were found murdered and in a burning house in San Diego.
Just days later, the girl, Hannah Anderson, was found hundreds of miles away in the Idaho wilderness, safe...her abductor killed by an FBI agent. This is just one powerful example of how emergency SMS text messages can reach the masses in an effort to save lives.
Unprecedented storms across the U.S. have caught many communities off guard. Between the severity and spontaneity of certain weather events, like tornadoes, there is very little time to get the word out and to prepare citizens when disasters strike, especially in a society that is ever mobile and on the go.
To help prepare people against these natural catastrophes, the government has implemented text message alerts to prepare communities and families for severe weather. Much like Amber Alerts, these notifications cause cell phones to sound off with an unavoidable and loud blare sent by the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) to signal incoming storms or natural emergencies.
Why SMS Alerts?
While the number continues to grow, today, there are nearly 7 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide. What this means is that the reach of mobile devices is expanding exponentially, which allows for efficient mass communication.
Studies show that SMS text messaging has proven to be the best way to communicate to the masses as it has a nearly 100% open rate within the first three minutes. The power of being able to reach thousands and millions of people anytime, anywhere during a desperate time has the potential to keep society safe.
With billions of cellphones in tow, governments, schools and businesses are increasingly implementing emergency alert programs via SMS text messaging.