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California plans to use text message alerts

California officials say they plan to use text message alerts as part of their statewide emergency system.

California plans to launch a text messaging alert system in the next 12 to 14 months, according to a story posted Thursday on

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi told lawmakers at a hearing that California is working with federal officials to develop an alert system that will use SMS text messaging to disseminate emergency information. He said that the state is willing to move along without the feds in order to get the service up and running as quickly as possible, the story said.

Several universities throughout the country have already begun using text message alerts to inform students of dangers or simply to keep them updated on important news on campus. Text alerts got a lot of attention last month in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings. Students at the university were informed about the situation via email, but many people believe that text alerts is a better way to send out warnings.