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Paving the way for informing people about possible threats, California is hoping that a new mass mobile system will alert the state about any emergency situation that could threaten them.

Yesterday (24th August 2010), the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) and US network carrier Sprint joined forces to launch the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) to warn citizens in the eastern state about how to deal with terrorist attacks, wildfires, hurricanes, school shootings and other emergency situations. By recycling mobile phone information this way, California could become a lot more clued-up.

Working like a news alert, the CMAS has the ability to work on both a large scale, warning a large geographic area, and a smaller scale such as a few blocks in a particular neighbourhood. For instance, if a campus needed to be locked down because of a threat, or a traffic incident near a sports stadium meant routes needed to be diverted, the CMAS could alert people the incident affects directly.

California and Sprint have officially joined forces to spearhead the nation's first mass mobile alert system, which means warnings about terrorist attacks, wildfires, hurricanes, school shootings and other emergency situations could soon be at citizens' fingertips.

"California is proud to lead the country in having the ability to instantly alert residents via their mobile phones to an emergency or disaster specific to their current location," said Cal EMA Secretary Matthew Bettenhausen in a release.

"This technology, along with Sprint's seasoned record of providing reliable wireless and network support during the state's wildfires, floods and earthquakes will prove a tremendous resource to the country's public safety and emergency management community." Comparing mobile phones with other forms of media broadcasting in terms of accessibility, this could be the most effective way of getting information out to the public.




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