A new compulsory national emergency alert system was unveiled in New York today by Mayor Bloomberg. Under the new system, called PLAN,
“Presidential and local emergency messages as well as Amber Alerts would appear on cell phones equipped with special chips and software.”
The nation’s top cell phone carriers (Verizon and AT&T) are already signed on for the system, but users can opt out of receiving the local alerts and Amber alerts. However, no one will be able to opt out of the Presidential Alerts, which as a result will eventually become compulsory for all cell phone users nationwide:
Consumers would be able to opt out of all but those presidential messages.
The system is already rolling out in New York, and some New Yorkers have already reported receiving the first Emergency Alerts from President Obama.
The first five Presidential Emergency Text Messages:
May 10, 2011, 7:35am:
“Dude yelled ‘ALLAH ACKBAR’ while trying to break into the cockpit on a flight to San Francisco. Nothing to worry about, though — he was just looking for the toilet and really had to take a leak bad. Everybody stay calm.”
May 10, 2011, 9:07am:
“Damn, that was a gutsy call I made on OBL. Don’t you agree? Gutsy.”
May 10, 2011, 10:46am:
“Three-pointer from half court! Oh yeah. Maybe I’ll have the Secret Service upload a vid of the shot later. Nothing but net!”
May 10, 2011, 12:14pm:
“DUCK AND COVER! Ha ha, just kidding. America is safe as long as the O-man is in charge!”
May 10, 2011, 1:28pm:
“Anybody seen my 8-iron? I coulda swore I put it in the bag before tee-off.”
If you are one of the cell phone users already signed up for the presidential emergency alert system, please report new O-lerts here.