Pearl, Miss. Mississippi officials are encouraging residents to download smartphone applications that will provide emergency information, as well as to familiarize themselves with an automatic alert system contained on newer wireless telephones.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has rolled out free applications for iPhone and Android.
The apps include emergency information, a checklist for an emergency kit, highway information, weather radar and other features.
Officials also say Mississippians should know they may receive emergency messages from the separate Wireless Emergency Alert program. It sends text messages, in some cases accompanied by a high-pitched tone, when there is an imminent weather danger, a missing child, or other problem. Messages are supposed to be targeted to all phones in an affected area
MEMA Director Robert Latham urges people not to turn the alerts off.