The massive blackouts in India last month resulted in over 600 million people losing power for as long as 48 hours. In the aftermath of the incident, analysts in the United States began questioning whether or not the country is equipped to handle similar events. While nationwide preparation remains to be seen, some utility companies are doing their part to alleviate some of the problems that could stem from such incidents. Illinois-based electric provider ComEd is doing its part by sending out text alerts during power outages.

According to the company's website, users can subscribe to the short code SMS service online, and by doing so they'll be able to keep up to date on the latest information concerning blackouts in their area.

"When an outage has been reported, you will receive a message notifying you of the outage affecting your service," says the outage alerts section of the ComEd site. "When an estimated restore time is determined, you will receive a message with that time. If the estimated restore time changes, a message will be sent with that new estimated restoration time. When your service is restored, you will receive a restore message."

This is a valuable service as it allows residents to remain constantly informed. According to the site, alerts are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, with as many as seven alerts going out in a given day. An article in Popular Mechanics last week declared that the United States is "woefully unprepared" for a blackout of India's magnitude, but implementing services like these is a good start in changing that sentiment.

This is one of many benefits SMS messaging can offer. Swift SMS Gateway can supply the tools businesses need to launch text message alert services.