On June 20, 2012 at approximately 1:00PM wireless subscribers in the Thumb Cellular service area may receive text-based messages testing the new Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS).
Using CMAS, Thumb Cellular will forward alerts from government agencies to individuals’ wireless devices, informing subscribers of public safety and severe weather emergencies. The alerts are designed to help citizens respond appropriately and save lives and property. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are implementing CMAS as a result of the Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act passed by Congress in 2006.
Messages will indicate that it is a test message and is free of charge. Currently, the models that Thumb Cellular sells with CMAS capabilities are the Motorola Milestone X2 and BlackBerry smartphones with software version 7.1. Any wireless phone with CMAS capabilities will receive the test messages if they are within the testing area regardless of which cellular carrier they have service with.
CMAS provides three types of messages—Presidential (national defense), Imminent Threat (severe weather or public safety emergency), and AMBER (child abduction) alerts. These alerts will be sent free of charge to wireless subscribers in a targeted geographic area corresponding to the scope of the emergency. In the event of an actual emergency, such as a tornado or flood, the alerts will provide information about actions that wireless customers can take to protect themselves and their property.
Wireless subscribers can chose to opt out of receiving the Imminent Threat messages and AMBER Alerts (Presidential Alerts cannot be disabled) by changing settings in their phone. For more information visit www.thumbcellular.com/data-plans/emergency-alerts.html
Additional information about CMAS is available on the FEMA website: http://www.fema.gov/emergency/ipaws/cmas.shtm