Sample of a text message you could receive in the event of an emergency.
List of warnings that will generate a text message to be automatically sent to your cell phone if it's compatible.
Grand Rapids, MI (WZZM) - Cell phone owners across the nations will now receive a short text message warning them that severe weather is in their area.
The National Weather Service has just rolled out a new program designed to keep the public informed of life threatening weather.
You'll be seeing alerts pop up on your phone if you're in a warned region, even if you're away from home.
Jim Maczko, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids said, "The Weather Service's role is to protect lives and property and we want to use as many methods as possible to do that. Wireless Emergency Alerts help us get the tornado warning message out or a blizzard warning message out. Wireless Emergency Alerts will be 90 characters or less, so this is to warn you that there is an imminent threat and you would follow up by watching local news, listening to weather radio, finding another weather source."
Authorities stress that this is only a notification of the highest alerts for dangerous weather.
Since these extreme scenarios don't happen very often, you may go months if not years with out receiving a message.
Click here for a complete list of warnings and check out the list of wireless carriers and the devices that are currently supported.
Of course, we here at WZZM will always keep bringing you the very latest information, but another good outlet is a NOAA weather radio. You can pick them up at many retailers across the nation.