AUSTIN (KXAN) - The massive network set to push out emergency alerts to mobile phones will try another launch Wednesday or Thursday.
Local meteorologists with the National Weather Service said the government ran into a few sticking points with its new Wireless Emergency Alert, or WEA, system.
Messages from local emergency officials are getting through to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but the nationwide system needed more testing after getting bogged down at times.
"It's a new service, so there's going to be some hiccups," said NWS Meteorologist Paul Yura. "There's going to be some minor changes here and there as we tweak the system, as we find out what's working, what isn't working and so forth. So what comes out may not be the very end product in a few years. Hopefully, it will get better and better as time goes on."
There will be three kinds of alerts:
- presidential: in the event of an emergency on the scale of 9/11
- Amber Alerts: for missing children in your area
- imminent threats, such as weather.
NWS officials will push out these 10 types of warnings:
- extreme wind
- flash flood
- ice storm
- lake effect snow
- dust storm
But only tornadoes, flash floods and ice storms are likely to affect Central Texas.
In addition, iPhones won't be able to receive these alerts until this fall.
Apple plans to incorporate the WEA capability in its iOS 6 operating system, rolling out later this year.
Once that's out, the iPhone 3GS, 4G and iPads will be able to receive the warnings.
For more on WEA-capable phones, you can check the website for the International Association Wireless Telecommunications Industry.
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