National Emergency Alert System Set To Launch In NYC

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A new national alert system is set to begin in New York City that will alert the public to emergencies via cell phones.

It’s called the Personal Localized Alert Network or PLAN. Presidential and local emergency messages as well as Amber Alerts would appear on cell phones equipped with special chips and software.

The Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency said the system would also warn about terrorist attacks and natural disasters.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports: An Arsenal Of Readiness

“The lessons that were reinforced on 9/11 is the importance of getting clear and accurate information to the public during a crisis,” New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Verizon and AT&T, the nation’s largest cell phone carriers, are already on board. Consumers would be able to opt out of all but those presidential messages.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond With Comment From Mayor Bloomberg

“We believe this new alert system is a welcome addition to our arsenal of readiness,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. “It’s like a police officer’s gun: it’s there for a good reason but we hope that we never have to pull the trigger.”

The announcement of the new emergency alert system came in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death and an uptick in security and safety concerns around New York City.

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane In Lower Manhattan: Verizon And AT&T Are On Board

For now, the alerts are capable on certain high-end cell phones but starting next year, all cell phones will be required to have the chip that receives alerts.

By the end of the year, the new system will be in place in New York City and Washington and in cities around the country by the end of 2012.

Bloomberg made the announcement about the new system Tuesday morning with FCC chairman Julius Genashowski and other federal and local officials.

This new emergency alert system is part of the Warning Alert and Response Network Act that was approved by Congress in 2006.

New York City already has an emergency alert in place called Notify NYC.  Bloomberg says it’s the largest opt-in notification alert system in the country.

More from Paul Murnane
  • Benjamin Franklin

    I know many fellow Americans who will form the long lines to participate in this latest government program. I am more afraid because of these people than I am of my government.

  • Brian

    this is complete BS. I will receive no such messages. You can push your fear propaganda elsewhere, leave me the hell alone. I don’t care about your damn country anymore.

  • Tom EE

    “Big Brother”, or in this case “Big Sis” is watching YOU!

    Welcome to 1984!

    What is it with all these liberals, Democrats, AND Republicans that keep supporting Washington in there push to take all rights away from us?? Doesn’t anyone in Washington believe int he Constitution??

  • annonymous

    The problem isn’t that they care where everybody is, it’s that they can track whomever they want. If you failed to pay your taxes last year, they can pull up your file and use whatever tools they’ve got to track you down, and giving them more tools to do so only makes it easier for them. In that tax evasion example, they may have just cause to want to track you down, so the tools seem harmless, but let’s say you rant politic a lot and hold contrarian positions (like many do)…as the country slips further down the statist-tubes, contrarian positions will become flags enough for them to want to track you down and shut you up. …then the tools don’t seem so benign and it won’t have been worth sacrificing your liberties.


    Where are the libs screaming about privacy now? You bunch of hypocrites.

  • Early Ardmore

    “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” ~ H. L. Mencken

  • Jared

    This is disturbing, truly disturbing. The government is coercive at every level. There is no way to escape their good intentions.

  • Ken

    Drudge provides links to other sites, no information of his own. One might also note that Drudge can not push the offered material on anyone as this does, nor does he raise the cost of your computer by demanding that a drudge-chip be installed.

    It always amuses me when an obviously less-than-clever person alludes to the lack of cleverness he or she sees in his or her political opponents. It also explains why so many voters see themselves as independent, rather than democrat or republican.

  • Uncle Mike

    YOU people are what is the matter with us people. Not only is the principle of this whole thing repugnant on it’s face, but you apparently have no concept of what the government can and does do to establish databases on everyone. The have these things called supercomputers, you may have heard of them, and they use them to sift, sort, and process enormous volumes of raw data. I don’t want them to have the power to hijack my privately owned device to spout propaganda, and neither should anyone else. They didn’t pay for my phone and they don’t pay for the service.

  • Jeff

    What does level of state-approved education have to do with good journalism and web content management?


  • Billy B

    Yes–having the government send me a freakin’ TEXT MESSAGE once in a while will really compromise my liberty! And what if they TRACK me? They might find out I went to Pathmark yesterday, and that today, I’m going to Costco! My liberty, my liberty! I see the light!

  • Nate

    Another good reason to turn the dam* thing off and leave it only for real emergencies – not propaganda from His HIghness.

  • Steve

    Sheeple like you deserve your slavery

  • CanaDave

    Wow, you are naive…they’ll just store the data until you become a ‘person of interest’. They’ll make sure you have the right political affiliations, who your family is, who your friends are…

  • Big Brother

    Unable to opt out of messages from the President, but can be forced to not speak a Christian prayer in a public school? Interesting First Amendment hypocrisy.

    • MommaBear

      I cannot recall a single message from a President, ever, that was of such vital importance that I had to know about it immediately.

  • Notasocialist

    F. Off. Obama. Nanny yourself and leave the rest of us out of it.

  • Doug Huffman

    We and you enjoy the rights that we defend only, including our Fourth Amendment Right to be secure in our persons, paper and property – interpreted by the courts as ‘privacy’. I’m sure that if you applied now that Bis Sis will give your gray coveralls and flip-flops now to go with your new louse proof buzz cut. You don’t have to wear your Magen David just yet, they’re working on something pink for collectivist Americans. I’m sure that you already have your tattoos.

  • Lisa

    The govt already gives out “free” cell phones to the welfare brigade. YOU, the taxpayer, are paying for thier cell phone calls. Watch the ads on TV for the cell phone service. Look at the people using them.

  • Bill Brennan

    Yes, the government would never do anything like that…. LOL, pick up a history book once in a while and turn off the MSNBC….

  • Hizzoner

    Well you got one thing right: You are one of the idiots.

  • Superpower

    Dollars-to-donuts the morning of Nov.2nd, 2012 will be declared a “state of emergency”, and you’ll be contacted via cell phone and urged to “join forces” with your leader and VOTE for the boy prince for a second term…and if he loses he can always employ that internet kill-switch mandate in order to buy some time to massage the voting numbers like his administration does the employment and economic numbers. You nanny-staters keep all that Orwellian nonsense up there, ok..thanks!

  • plainolamerican

    Yep, telecorps passing our personal info off to BIG BROTHER since the 30’s.

    3 percenter.

  • Eagle

    As Benjamin Franklin said he who gives up liberty for security has neither.

  • PittDaddy

    Welcome to the mark of the beast

  • Michael

    Stupid F*#k! You think we don’t already know that? If you are content with the Feds tracking your every move, you deserve what will come eventually come out of that complete abuse of power. Those who give up thier freedom in the name of security are not secure at all.

  • Willy Joe Lumplump

    This STINKS!!!

    Now I’m to have politicians’ views forced upon me?

    Where’s the leftist uprising against the intrusive government taking away our liberties? Now’s your time, boys and girls!

  • umustbkidding

    yes, but this is the government doing it for your safety, of course. They are our MEGA protectors. It’s impossible for them to be practicing any impropriety.

    • LindaInUpstateNY

      well, at least now we’ll know when to throw the phone in the ditch & hide from the govt.

  • Geno

    LOL – my 19.00 Tracfone stays off unless I need to make a call. I don’t text and I don’t receive them. So there!

  • Fred

    Is the world really so dangerous that the government has to have access to us 24/7? Do average Americans have a say in this? Obviously the answer to the second question is “No” — and that is a clear indication of where we’re headed as a society. Call it a police state or a nanny state, it’s all about treating us like we’re nothing more than tagged geese. How demoralizing. But, it all kind of fits in with the recent UN edict that animals and insects are equal to human beings. This is all beyond the pale and would have been unthinkable just 10 years ago. Maybe Alex Jones is right after all. It seems the government is increasingly gaining control over everything and the Constitution has already been suspended. I hope I’m wrong and the government loves us so much it wants to be an intimate part of our lives 24/7. They’re already putting their hands down our pants at the airport.

    • D Franklin

      I am thinking the same thing. Alex gets a little freaked out here and there but maybe his basic message is correct? Either way is it worth the risk of not paying attention to it? I have lived under a communist regime – you have no idea how broken and afraid the people become, by that time it will be too late.

  • dear devin

    Devin, ability to track doesn’t equate to actually tracking, which is what the iPhone was doing.. I’ll refrain from name calling.

  • Lady Tiger

    There is already an extensive give away of free cell phones to those who qualify. We pay for that as well

  • classy

    As I said but did not appear — an over-reaching Government, now controls Automobile Industry, Mortgages, Energy, and now wants to control the Internet and Cell Phones??–not under the Constitution of the United States of America. We have a President and his administration that does not believe in the Free Enterprise System and Capitalism, got it!!

  • Stephen

    Urgent texts from the President? Like, “Vote for me!”
    Are we all lemmings and can’t see through this grab for even more government control??

  • Gibbs Bentley

    If this doesn’t tell you that you don’t own yourself nothing will. Next is the chip.


  • Old Father Time

    I thought this was a joke. God help us all, they’ve crossed the line.

    • MommaBear

      Crossed the line? They crossed the line a long time ago. This is more along the lines of crawling into bed with me.

  • classy


  • Cantor

    Wow, with all these nutcases on the comments, one would think New York would be running low on tin foil.

    This is nothing more than the natural extension of the emergency broadcast system. People are not listening to radio or watching broadcast television as much, and they always carry their cell phones, so why not enable a system whereby people can be contacted in the event of a major emergency.

    The government is not nearly as well organized to be as nefarious as these ham and eggers seem to believe.

  • George Bushmeat

    Thanks George Bush and the Republican House and Congress! We couldn’t have gone down the totalitarian path without you, the PATRIOT act and the TSA! It’s all thanks to you!

    • No1uKnow

      You forgot to thank Mr.Bush for the Bin Laden kill.

    • omstrat

      So your boy is in charge for 2 years now and a Dem congress was in charge for many years ..Why did YOU ALL change that then ?
      the old blame Bush routine is so worn out man , let it go already geeeezzzzz

  • Outraged conservative

    When did this become legal?

    I wish CBS would have published a list of all those who supported this so that we can vote them out.

    Ron Paul for president 2012!

  • Mike

    Anyone read Revelation lately? Better brush up and wake up!

  • fred

    from my cold dead hands….

  • Mad Max

    Remember Lexington. Remember Concord. Remember the North Bridge.

    Liberty or Death, DONT TREAD ON ME!

  • oracle2world

    Yes, illegal immigrants need to be provided for.

  • flamefront

    Emergency – Obummer in the White House – On fire running for election – a forced down-your-throat political advertisement.

    All traffic will be diverted when Obummer goes out to campaign. Clear the streets for his majesty. (Remember the Obummer traffic jams?)

  • H. E. Vincent

    Bathroom- Cabinet behind mirror- pull edge of door to open- second shelf from bottom- brownish plastic container w/white cap (get help opening as it is idiot proof)- label read something about mood modifier or similar- take as per writing on label- don’t bother calling Dr (they quit accepting medicare after health care law passed)- go play by yourself in dark closet-
    Last but not least- remove head from rear and attempt to scrub brown ring around your neck from remaining up up your butt for so long-
    Warning!!! brown ring stain may be permanent after being in place for so long!!!

  • Ga Voter

    “Consumers would be able to opt out of all but those presidential messages.”
    Welcome to 1984. If you haven’t read the book, don’t bother, it’s probably to late to do anything about it anyway.

  • oracle2world

    I just figured out what all the stuff on my four year old cell phone is for.

  • Jane Jones

    No….its not the truth! Obama needs to focus on the economy, unemployment and the price of gas. Anyone with half of a brain can read the newspaper or watch a 24hr. new channel. This is, without a doubt, more government intrusion. Please Mr. Obama, take your marxist ideas and go back to teaching at Harvard. Our nation can’t last much longer with you at the helm.

  • Mike

    Why are they wasting all this money when all they have to do is scroll a message across the TV. The majority of people that voted for obama don’t work and they will get the message when they are watching the View……. Isn’t that where they get there news from?

    • Gary

      It will be on the TV too. and even on a networked x-box

  • V

    Ted, I think you should not only get the first *new* phone, but you should get an implant as well!

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