SMS messaging is routinely being seen as a way to help others prepare for disasters and assist in emergency situations. For this reason, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) created the first version of its SMS water alert system in January.

This service warns residents of flood-prone areas of potential dangers or disasters as well as real-time data regarding river levels and aquatic areas throughout the United States.

Places like Caplinger Mills, Missouri are informing residents of this tool because turbine units in the area will be refurbished this summer, according to the Cedar Republication. Without these turbines, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are unable to assist the Sac River to consistently empty 40 cubic feet of water.

Anyone that lives near a body of water can get updates from USGS daily or every hour. SMS subscribers will also receive messages if waters are reaching higher levels than normal. For those who are located near multiple bodies of water can subscribe to text alerts from up to three different states.

Having this information sent straight to your mobile device helps everyone in the neighborhood gather essential items beforehand. Many wait to hear warnings from meteorologists and decide to make last minute purchases among the hordes of panicked locals.

This tool is especially useful if a business is located near a body of water. USGS WaterNow SMS service allows users to specify what parameters they want to notified about. Requests are identified by site numbers and five-digit codes to express water flow, quality and levels that can be found on the National Water Information System Mapper.

Swift SMS Gateway has many developers that can help communities prepare for future flood warnings.