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Beeeep. Beeeep. Beeeep. We interrupt your cell phone for this emergency alert ...

An updated version of the Emergency Alert System will be put into place by the end of next year. With the new procedures, emergency messages will be sent out to all devices able to accept text messages.

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The new adaptation of the alert system will reach more people faster, while still sending out the alerts on the more traditional lines of communication, television and radio.

The original alert system was instated by President Harry Truman in the 1950s, and required weekly tests that intoned "This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test." This system was replaced with the Emergency Alert System in 1997 which enables the president to address the entire country in cases of nuclear attack within ten minutes.

Last month President Bush included situations of war, terrorist attacks and natural disasters to the alert list. In many states, AMBER alerts also run on this system. The Gulf Coast states will be testing the system first in Hurricane Katrina-ravaged areas. [www.cnn.com]
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Title Annotation:SHORTTakes
Author:Misiura, Linda
Publication:Rural Telecommunications
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2006
Words:172
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