All governments should incorporate SMS alerts into their emergency-warning plans. Mass text messaging is the quickest way to inform residents about impending disasters or how local emergency personnel are responding to incidents. Here we'll discuss what these messages should include.

1. Be timely
The most important component of emergency SMS alerts is timeliness. An alert that goes out too late could be disastrous to readers. Take for example a situation involving an escaped convict. Police need to inform community residents as soon as possible that someone dangerous is on the loose. Failing to quickly send this message puts people in danger.

2. Be brief, but informative
Although an emergency, whether that is a natural disaster or civilian crisis, has many moving parts, it's always important to keep messages as brief, but informative as possible. How can you do both? Focus solely on what has happened and what the reader now needs to do to follow up on the situation. For example, if an authorized government organization or official messages thousands of community residents an AMBER alert, it'll likely note the following: 1) The child's gender 2) Physical appearance 3) When he or she was last seen and 4) Who to contact if a reader finds her.

3. Be action-oriented
Emergency alerts must always include a call to action. If a government body informs readers about an imminent natural disaster, for example, they need to know what to do and who to contact for more information. If the readers are currently being affected by that disaster, the text message may ask them to reply "help" to a certain short code. This message could then alert emergency personnel of their location.