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What is that loud noise? It sounds like my home alarm clock, but why is it coming from my cell phone? I didn’t change the ring tone?
After purchasing my new blackberry a few months ago I began to receive unsolicited emergency alerts that were accompanied by an obnoxiously loud notification sound. I would quickly fumble with my cell phone to cease the embarrassing noise that would prompt the entire room to stare. This urgent message was alerting me that there was a flash flood warning over 100 miles away from my location. I wouldn’t exactly classify this as an emergency.
The alerts continued over the next few months and all referenced flash flood warnings for areas at least 50 miles away. I finally called my cell phone provider to find out how to disable the alerts and was told that the alerts were part of the new Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) implemented on April 7, 2012. My provider informed me that the WARN Act would prohibit me from opting out of emergency alerts issued by the president.
CMAS is a new public safety system that allows customers who own an enabled mobile device to receive geographically-targeted, text-like messages alerting them of imminent threats to safety in their area. CMAS was developed to complement the existing Emergency Alert System which is implemented by the FCC and FEMA at the federal level through broadcasters and media service providers.
I can definitely see the value in implementing this system should there be a true emergency or natural disaster. However I’d like to suggest that the program be refined and only notify those who are truly in areas of imminent danger. For more information on the CMAS visit http://www.fcc.gov/guides/commercial-mobile-alert-system-cmas.
Lindsey Smith is a Del Mar resident and founder of San Diego Office Properties. She serves as a trusted advisor for San Diego’s owners and occupiers of commercial space. Lindsey comes from a family of “serial entrepreneurs” and has a true passion for helping local businesses find office space that is aligned with their corporate strategy, culture and budget. Lindsey is a graduate of the University of San Diego. She began her real estate career in 2003 working at a large corporate brokerage house and founded San Diego Office Properties in 2012. San Diego Office Properties functions under the KW Commercial umbrella which allows clients access to a national platform and corporate resources while capitalizing on the flexibility that only a boutique firm can offer.