I feel this is a very good idea. The E.A.S. system has been used in radio for many years.I wish it would have been activated years ago, but better late than never.

The U.S. government and local authorities will soon be able to reach people directly on their cellphones to warn them of imminent danger or alert them about missing children — even in the middle of a widespread emergency that overloads communications systems as happened after the Sept. 11 attacks, officials said Tuesday.

The emergency alert system will be used only for critical national messages from the president, information in life-threatening situations and Amber Alerts meant to widen the search for missing or abducted youngsters, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Tuesday.

The system, set to launch by the end of the year in New York City and Washington, D.C., will spread to most if not all U.S. cellphones in the next few years as people replace their old phones with new devices containing a special chip that will enable them to receive the messages.