Should You Opt Out of Wireless Emergency Alerts?

A recent headline in the Boston Daily read Not Everyone Enjoys Receiving Flash Flood Notifications. It told the story of the Boston area public receiving a flash flood warning via cellphones through Wireless Emergency Alerts. Some were surprised, like the fellow who posted on Twitter “…almost gave me a flash flood in my pants.”

So the article provided guidance on how the public can opt out of the alerts.

What Happens if I Turn Off Wireless Emergency Alerts?

The writer then redeemed himself when he wrote: “Recall the lines of people waiting to charge their iPhone in Manhattan after Hurricane Sandy, and it’ll remind you that cellphones are one of our last sources of connectivity in times of mass power outage and emergency. Just as an older generation once gathered around the radio to listen to presidential messages in the wake of disasters, our generation should take comfort that we have a high-tech way to connect to our emergency services that doesn’t require our power lines to be up and running (at least until our battery runs out). These alerts are annoying, particularly when we don’t feel very threatened by the flash flood that woke us up from our pre-Wednesday slumber, but the alerts do give us a modern-day way to stay connected in dark times. And that is something to consider when staring down the opt-out switch.”

Nice job, Eric Randall.

This post was originally published in the Alerts and Notifications blog authored by Galain President Rick Wimberly in Emergency Management Magazine
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