Emergency Weather Alerts coming soon to a Cell Phone near you

First, here is some information I was forwarded today:

http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/lwx/WEA/WEA.php

Posted at 12:15 PM ET, 05/23/2012 TheWashingtonPost

Emergency weather alerts coming soon to a cell phone near you

By Dan Stillman
CMAS Alert
(National Weather Service) If you have a cell phone, it may soon make some curious sounds and vibrations the next time you find yourself in the possible path of a tornado or several other types of weather emergencies.

Starting any day now, the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system will go live. That means National Weather Service warnings for dangerous weather, including tornadoes, flash flooding and hurricanes, will be delivered free of charge to many mobile users on major wireless carriers. The alerts will look like text alerts, but use a different technology that is not affected by network congestion.

The WEA system is “location-based,” which means that you only receive alerts relevant to your physical location. In other words, if you travel to another city, you’ll receive alerts for where you are, not back home.

AMBER Alerts and Presidential Alerts during a national emergency will also be delivered through the WEA system. If you have a WEA-capable phone, you’ll receive alerts unless you opt out (you can’t opt out of Presidential Alerts, however).

Interestingly, the alerts will *not* interrupt phone conversations, but rather will be delayed until a call is finished.

CMAS Message
NWS Warnings and the corresponding messages that will be sent out through WEA. (National Weather Service)
Here’s a selection of FAQs on the WEA system from the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va.:

What are WEA messages?
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency messages sent by authorized government alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service.

What types of weather alerts will be delivered?
*Tsunami Warnings
*Tornado and Flash Flood Warnings
*Hurricane, Typhoon, Dust Storm and Extreme Wind Warnings
*Blizzard and Ice Storm Warnings

Why is this important to me?
Alerts received at the right time can help keep you safe during an emergency. With WEA, alerts can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm’s way, without need to download an app or subscribe to a service.

What does a WEA message look like?
WEA will look like a text message. The WEA message will show the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert. The message will be no more than 90 characters.

What should I do when I receive a WEA message?
Follow any action advised by the emergency message. Seek more details from local media or authorities.

Read the full FAQ here.

OK, so, now you’ve read that. It sounds good, doesn’t it? Now you don’t have to look for a special app to track the weather and weather warnings around you, right?
But wait, hold on a second, let me re-read this, something just doesn’t feel right about it. What was that piece that caught my attention?
Hmmm… oh, yeah, there it is, “AMBER Alerts and Presidential Alerts during a national emergency will also be delivered through the WEA system. If you have a WEA-capable phone, you’ll receive alerts unless you opt out (you can’t opt out of Presidential Alerts, however).

So, while this system will appeal to the lazy masses, it doesn’t occur to them that the federal government will now be empowered to “provide” you with any information they want, based on your location. This means that the governments own computers will undoubtedly be tracking your every movement with your cell phone. I know, you say they already do that, and I won’t disagree, the only difference as I see it is that right now the government has to “request” that data from a third party (just because the third parties never deny them doesn’t mean they aren’t required to “ask”). Since this WEA program is a location based service to provide you with real-time alerts, this means the computers must know where you are. Does anyone believe that the government will “forget” to disable the memory on those computers?

I also see a lot of other reasons why this is a bad thing, but I don’t know where to begin pointing them out.

OK, so that’s where I’m at, this is one more violation against us, but what do we do about it? I’m open to suggestions here. Short of lead flying, I’m not sure what we can do.

This guy has *not* attended every Tea Party meeting I was at. He’s a problem for the Tea Party.

Maloney 1
Maloney 2

This guy is a party hack that has been (successfully?) attempting to infiltrate the Tea Party movement. I know that we here in NE PA are not alone in this. Tea Partiers, give these people the boot. Stephen is the reason that I don’t attend meetings. After he and I had a discussion at one of them and he basically told me I was an idiot for being an Independent.

Yeah, the Independents that research the candidates are the reason the country is screwed.

Asshole.

I’ll let you know if he responds.

UPDATE 29 December, 2011 1020 hrs

Stephen didn’t respond to me, but someone else did. I responded to him and then stepped away for a while. When I came back I did a refresh to see if there were any new comments and this is what I saw:
Maloney 3

Hmm, interesting. So I decided to do a search for Stephen R. Maloney (per the name on the above screen shots) and this is what I saw:
Maloney 4a
Maloney 4b

Very interesting. Either Mr. Maloney jumped off of Facebook or he has banned me from seeing and commenting on his posts. I suspect the latter… How very ‘democratic’ of him.

Anyone on Facebook want to check him out and see what he had to say about my remarks now that I can’t see him? If you can send me screen shots, that would be great.

Another note, I can no longer see the “notification” that was just there telling me there were comments to that post.

UPDATE 30 December, 2011 0656 hrs
It turns out that Stephen R. Maloney is not the person that I met at Scranton Tea Party events. I am now not sure if I ever actually met him in person, but I’m not sure what else would have induced me to add him as a Facebook ‘friend’. However, having said that, the conversation remains valid and people like him are still a problem for the Tea Party.

European Justice?

OK, so I’m perusing the November 2011 issue of Chemical Processing magazine (yes, it has to do with my job, it’s really not light reading for fun… although I do find this stuff interesting) and I come across an article that intrigues me in multiple ways.
I’m just wondering if this is what we have to look forward to: Italian Trial Covers Some Shaky Ground. Basically, there are seven defendants, all of whom are geophysical scientists (earthquakes, volcanoes and the like). They served on a “disaster risk committee” for a village that was later hit by a 5.8 quake that killed more than 300 people. Shortly before the quake hit, the committee met and then held a press conference and “basically downplayed the risk of a major quake occurring soon and didn’t promote the need for earthquake preparedness“.
An important item to note: The village is in a earthquake prone area.
OK, so these 7 are being charged with manslaughter and, if convicted, could each face more than 10 years in prison. They are being charged with downplaying the risk of an earthquake in an earthquake prone area, and are thereby being accused of killing over 300 people…
WTF?!?!?!
OK, if you live in an earthquake prone area, you should be prepared for an earthquake, that’s a given. We also know that it is damn near impossible to predict when a big earthquake will hit.
We also expect “the big one” to hit California any day/week/month/year now, but we’re not sure when. So, if it hits tomorrow, are we going to charge the people studying geophysics in that area for not warning everyone?
Did anyone predict the earthquake that hit Virginia earlier this year? Who is to blame for not warning us about that?
What the hell is going on in the world?