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Emergency alerts, 'like' them or notPosted Friday, November 11, 2011, at 2:02 PM
The concept of emergency alerts through social media was mentioned following a test of the United States' broadcast Emergency Alert System earlier this week.
A proposed bill by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) would involve the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as state and local emergency agencies, sending alerts, such as weather warnings, to individuals' Facebook and Twitter accounts -- with the user's consent.
"We want to respect people's privacy and I believe the vast majority of people will choose to receive emergency messages," Collins said. "But I don't want to impose that message on people who, for whatever reason, are adamantly opposed to receiving the message."
There's been some concern that you don't "like" FEMA on Facebook or "follow" FEMA on Twitter, you may not receive the warnings.
I've also wondered about the short, one-time National Weather Service warnings on radio. If you're in the car and listening to a Nashville or satellite station instead of one from Shelbyville - or to your iPod, etc. - you aren't going to hear warnings for Bedford County. Maybe social media is the solution.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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