Get emergency alerts sent to your cellphone

Author: Mary Lee, Meteorologist, mlee@kprc.com
Published On: Feb 05 2013 03:13:01 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 05 2013 04:46:03 PM CST
HOUSTON -

There's a new, high-tech way to keep you safe. Local emergency alerts can now be sent right to your cellphone.

In order to get them, you have to sign up first.

"This is about true emergencies," Houston Mayor Annise Parker said. "Maybe a tornado touched down at the house across from you. Wouldn't you want to know that? You can know what's happening. It's critical for your safety today."

Local leaders urged residents to register their wireless phone for emergency alerts.

This new warning system will send users a text message whenever hazardous material spills occur, dangerous or missing persons are in a person's area or life-threatening weather strikes, like severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes.

Community leaders said it is easy to do. You just need to sign up online at 911.org.

"This is a system we can give timely, very specific data to as many people as possible," Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said.