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New Yorkers soon to get emergency cell phone alerts in what Bloomberg calls 'quantum leap forwar


Emergency officials will soon be able to blast critical alerts to anyone with a cell phone in a certain section of the city.

If Times Square needs to be evacuated because of a bomb threat or if a hurricane is bearing down on Queens, warnings will be bounced from cell towers.

"Making sure that [people] get useful and life-saving information, quickly and easily, right on their mobile phones, will help more people get out of harm's way when a threat exists," said Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator W. Craig Fugate.

The system - called PLAN or Personal Localized Alerting Network - uses cell phone towers to send messages to everyone currently in a certain area, regardless of whether they're visiting from out of town or have a phone registered elsewhere. People won't have to register in advance to receive the alerts.


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