Wireless Emergency Cell Phone Alerts Part of the Future

Lynchburg, VA - As breaking news of an Amber Alert for a five-year-old girl now found safe, went out Wednesday morning, hundreds of thousands of cell phones in the area also sent a new type of wireless alert out to people all over our area.

Called the Wireless Emergency Alert Program (WEA), authorities can send alerts through broadcaster's, such as ABC 13's Emergency Alert System. Once that alert is issued, the alert goes out to cell phone providers in the affected area.

You may have already received one of the alerts when bad weather is in the area. Look for more as the system improves.

The alerts are displayed as a text message on your phone, but actually get to your phone through a different system.

The alert does not charge the cell phone customers anything.

For more information on the Wireless Emergency Alert Program, you can visit the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children's website at and NOAA's website at .