BEAUMONT-By: Leslie Rangel
Cell phone users everywhere are now receiving emergency alert text messages as part of the new wireless emergency alert program.
Many customers are reaching out to cell phone providers and media, asking what the Amber and Weather alerts are all about.
"It will keep people aware of potential dangers, what to expect," Chad White, store manager for Verizon Wireless in Beaumont says.
The new program is taking advantage of technology in 2013 to help reach hundreds of thousands about all types of emergency situations.
"If you get more people involved, you get more eyes on the situation and that does help with the response time," White tells KFDM News.
White says many people don't really know what the alerts mean or they want to make sure they don't get them at the wrong times. He says newer smartphones will allow users to disable the alerts through the text message notifications.
Older phones will require you to go online to your service provider or call to opt out.
Police say it's best to take the few extra seconds to read the alerts to help everyone stay informed.
"Think about it in terms if that were you're child or your family member, wouldn't you want somebody to take that extra second to read over the alerts?" Officer Carol Riley with the Beaumont Police department says.
They say the alerts could help make a large difference for law enforcement.
"I think this does have the potential to save lives, and it's very important for us all as a community to be connected," White says.
All messages are free of charge. For more information you can visit your individual cell phone provider.
You can also receive the free Amber Alerts through Facebook by liking their page.