The National Weather Service (NWS) is fully on board with text alerts, according to a representative with the organization.
Carol Christenson, a warning coordination meteorologist with the NWS in Duluth, Minnesota, recently spoke with the Superior Telegram, a publication based out of Wisconsin, about the benefits of SMS services. Given the recent massive snow storm in Minnesota, the need for instant communication has been particularly important in the state this month. Users have the opportunity to sign up for this free service and use it to protect themselves from any inclement weather conditions.
Christenson expressed that text alerts were so valuable because SMS notifications – if set up properly – supersedes all other applications. Emergency texts sent by the NWS will be especially loud and prominent on users' phone screens, given the magnitude of the content being conveyed in the message.
"You can be talking on it, doing something with it, and it will automatically alert," Christenson said. "However, if you're on the phone with someone, it'll wait until you're done talking on the phone. So it's like getting a really, really, really important text message. It's some kind of alarm and alert that is totally different from anything else on your phone, so it'll be sure to get your attention."
Therein lies the value of text messaging. If a message has to be relayed quickly, whether it's an emergency text or marketing communication, it's good to know that users will see it immediately, even if they are doing something else on their phones. Organizations across a wide range of industries can benefit from this kind of service.