Alert: Time to Panic or Not?


I bet it wouldn’t be unreasonable for me to wager that most us don’t even have cable anymore. Many of us spend hours every week (if not daily) on online streaming services like Hulu or Netflix. We binge watch TV shows till our eyes bleed and we become deliriously addicted. So where do we get access to news, weather alerts, or national crises? Our handy dandy cell phones — duh.

But what if your phone does the unthinkable … and dies? Or you leave it sitting on the counter … a mere 10 feet away from your comfy couch. Or, heaven forbid, you decide to disable alerts from your phone? Then what? You become blissfully (or stupidly) unaware of any major catastrophe what may be occurring while you happily watch Game of Thrones for the third time.

As technologically connected as we have all become in recent years, we still struggle to know what’s happening in the world — especially when major emergencies are blowing up just minutes from our home.

Senators in Hawaii and South Dakota are working to introduce a bill “The Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement” act. Basically, this act would work to broadcast alerts to online streaming services — like Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify (to name just a few). The bill also would like to eliminate users ability to disable federal alerts from their phones and update current alert systems to false alarms become a thing of the past.

Time will tell weather this bill works its way through the House and the Senate, but it most certainly brings to light a very obvious concern — safety and emergency preparedness. We all have ample access to phones, computers, and TVs so there is really no excuse that we should ever be “in the dark” when an emergency arises — especially when we are Netflixing and chilling.

Do you think we should allow emergency alerts to interrupt online streaming? Tweet @StarterNoise using #Alert.

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