The next time your cell phone goes off it might not be a text message, it could be an alert to keep you safe.
They're called Wireless Emergency Alerts and it appears the first one hit cell phones in the Burlington area this weekend.
A lot of people in the Burlington area were startled on Saturday when their phones made noises it had not before. And there was an emergency message about a flash flood warning.
It could be the first in a new way of getting you information you need to know right away.
National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologist Scott Whittier says your cell phone company is now passing along emergency messages.
If your phone is in the area of a possible emergency and as long it is a newer model you'll automatically receive the free alert.
The most common might be about weather.
"There are the flash flood warnings that we all saw, tornado warnings. So those would be the two you see during the summer. And the winter impacts alerts we would see be blizzard warnings or ice storm warning," says Whittier.
There could also be alerts from the president during a national emergency, amber alerts, or about evacuations. While cell phone companies have worked on the program for years, it's just being rolled out as another way to let you know trouble might be coming.
"It's a pretty good function," says Whittier.
Now you can opt of some of the alerts, though never the emergency alerts from the president.
For more information about how to opt out, just CLICK HERE.