A bit of an update on the last post...
During the storms we had a couple days ago, I noticed my cell phone (and everyone else's cell phones) would go off occasionally with emergency warnings. I thought it was a bit odd as while I do get some updates which I specifically signed up for (Nixle, CNN breaking news, etc), these messages seemed to come from out of the blue. A day later, our local newspaper ran a story about these alerts. Seems they come from a newish system called the Wireless Emergency Alert System. Read more about it here. Mystery solved.
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