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Emergency alert system confuses cell phone users

Thousands of people in the St. Louis area are talking about a strange message that popped up on their cell phone this weekend. It was about an AMBER Alert issued for a young girl missing from the Springfield, Missouri area.

It’s called the Wireless Emergency Alert system and people here are wondering why and how it showed up on their phones.

Read more: www.ksdk.com

CTIA’s Assistant Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Brian Josef explains the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) program. A national emergency alert system that sends free, concise, text-like messages to users’ WEA-capable mobile devices. Unlike text messages, WEA are location aware so the messages are sent only to those individuals within the targeted area. Wireless providers representing nearly 97 percent of subscribers are participating in distributing wireless emergency alerts.