After the terrorist attack that happened in September 11, 2001, The United sStates has become more conscious about what would happen in case a scenario similar that day occurs. It has led to a concerted effort to put in place measures to make sure that it never happens again or if it does, it is more prepared to handle the situation. One immediate result of this was the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. And now another step has been taken to further protect the American people â€“ the Personal Localized Alert Network.
T-Mobile recently road tested the system, also known as PLAN, on some unsuspecting T-Mobile consumers. The select customers were altered by a loud sound that would emit from their phones, a siren that is similar to the one that is heard from the Emergency Broadcast System on TV. Upon checking their phones they will see a text message that said â€œPresidential Alertâ€ and â€œTestâ€.Â T-Mobile has already apologized for the snafu because the message was supposed to be localized among a select number of beta testers. You can imagine the surprise of those unsuspecting customers when they suddenly hear that loud siren emanating from their phones.
Despite the minor mixup, PLAN will actually be a very useful system. It is designed to work on specific geographic areas and send out alerts whenever it is needed. The PLAN system is not just limited to terrorist attacks. It can also be used for natural calamities and even by law enforcement agencies if they want to send out Amber Alerts for missing children.
In order to make your phone PLAN-compatible the mobile providers will send out software updates that will enable the alert sound and the messaging feature. T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and AT&T have already committed that all phones will be PLAN-compatible by April 2012.