From NextGov: Local emergency managers need more training before the nationwide rollout of an emergency-alert text messaging system, industry officials told a House panel Friday, warning that ill-considered texts about minor events could result in cell users not taking the alerts seriously.

The Personal Localized Alert Network, or PLAN, will be rolled out in New York City in the next few months and should be operating nationwide by spring 2012, James Barnett, chief of the Federal Communications Commission's Public Safety Bureau told members of the House Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness.

The PLAN program will allow local emergency managers to send out emergency alerts to all cell phones within range of selected cell towers and will give the texts priority placement, so they'll get through even if phone networks are overloaded during a natural disaster.

About 97% of mobile carriers have agreed to carry the alerts on a voluntary basis, according to the CTIA. Read the entire article here.