For a while there it seemed like only couch potatoes would survive — or at least know of — impending danger. If the Commercial Mobile Alert System is put into place, however, this cellphone-wieldin', Internet streaming, radio-less generation of kids who aren't glued to televisions may not get caught with their pants down.
Even if you do watch a lot of TV, it just isn't the most effective way to reach the American populace anymore. Just like the radio — which is still good in a pinch — had to acquiesce to the television, the TV, in turn, must bow to the cellphone.
The Federal Communication Commission and communications company Alcatel-Lucent are working together to outline and realize the Commercial Mobile Alert System, which would push out alerts about anything from tornadoes to terrorist attacks to your cellphone in text form. There's a graph of how the infrastructure would look up above, but all you really need to know is that it'd give various government agencies a hot-line to the populace like it had under the original Emergency Broadcast System.
What's more, the rise of smartphones and the like could mean that future alerts would arrive in more advanced multimedia formats other than texts. I mean, just imagine if you saw a tornado barreling down your street, right? Then you get a text, only to see another tornado spinning around on your iPhone with the words "Watch out, buddy!" under it. That'd be pretty cool, right?