Houston-area emergency alerts now available to cell phone users - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Houston-area emergency alerts now available to cell phone users

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

If you got rid of your home phone to savemoney, no land line meant no emergency 911 alerts about your neighborhood ... until now. 

Good news! You can receive those crucial warnings onyour cell phone. Now, when something is going on in your community thatyou need to know about, you can get alerts to your cell phone straight from911. 

"We want to be able to assure them that if an emergency occurs intheir area they'll be notified," explains Sonya Lopez Clauson with the GreaterHarris County (GHC) 911 Network.  GHC already automatically offers theservice to home phone "land lines."

Now if, and only if, you first registeryour cell phone with 911, you can be notified when an emergency is happening inyour neighborhood.

"For instance, if there happens to be a missing personor chemical explosion, could be a hazmat incident," adds Clauson.

All you have to do is log on to www.911.org and click the big "sign up" button toreceive free localized alerts to your mobile phone (regular data rates stillapply). Emergency officials and law enforcement decide when alerts shouldgo out.

"It's just one more tool that GHC 911 is offering to all of ourjurisdictions to ensure their residents are notified about an emergency,"explains Clauson.

"So everything in my zip code, I'll get aphone call? Sounds like a big pain to me," admits one Houston man.

"I'm for it. I would like it because we're always looking at our phones foreverything. Without it, you feel lost," says Houston resident Albert Rodriguez.

"I don't know. You know what OrsonWelles says, 'Big Brother is watching.' That opens up a lot of legal issuesand cans of worms. (Why?  What are you doing wrong?) I'm not doinganything wrong. I'm an attorney," laughs Houston lawyer James Bowie II.

Remember you have to go onlineto www.911.org and register to receive theseneighborhood emergency alerts to your cell or your internet phone. Theservice is offered to residents who live in Harris and Fort Bendcounties. 80 percent of all 911 calls here in the Houston area are made fromcell phones.

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