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NYC Office of Emergency Management To Test New Text Message Alert System

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New Yorkers may get one or more text messages on their cell phones Thursday as part of a test of a new national alert system.

WCBS 880's Wayne Cabot And Steve Scott With NYC OEM Commissioner Joe Bruno


It's called the Personal Localized Alert Network or PLAN. Presidential and local emergency messages as well as Amber Alerts would appear on cell phones equipped with special chips and software.

The Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency said the system would also warn about terrorist attacks and natural disasters.

On Thursday, officials will send six test messages between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon customers who have mobile devices that are enabled to receive emergency alerts.

The New York City Office of Emergency Management says for those who can receive the emergency messages, a notification will pop up on your device that says "Severe Alert" or "Extreme Alert."

Officials say you will then see a message that says "This is a test from NYC Office of Emergency Mgmt. Test Message 1. This is only a test."

According to officials, those who can't get wireless emergency alerts won't see the test messages and many of those who do, might not get any either.

And if you do, remember it's only a test.

By the end of the year, the new system will be fully in place in New York City and Washington and in cities around the country by the end of 2012.

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