Americans Most Responsive to Emergency Alerts on Cell Phones (7/25/14)
Friday, July 25, 2014 | Comments

Findings from a new study released by CallFire and conducted online by Harris Poll among 2,100 U.S. adults found that three in five Americans (59 percent) say they are more likely to pay attention to emergency alerts — from hurricane warnings to Amber alerts — sent to their phone as opposed to other methods such as roadside signs or TV.

The study provides insight into cell phones as the preferred first mode of communication in an emergency, and as the means by which many Americans prefer to conduct other, more commonplace, daily tasks. It found that in an emergency situation, 90 percent of adults say the first way they try to reach friends and family is by phone.

Other findings include:

• Two-thirds of Americans (67 percent) say they would like to receive real-time text updates on potential weather related emergencies in their area

• Millennials (ages 18 – 34) are the least likely to say they try to reach loved ones by phone first in an emergency (85 percent) as compared with 95 percent of those 65 and older, 92 percent of those within the ages of 55 – 64, 93 percent of those 45 – 54 years old and 87 percent of those aged 35 – 44.

The study found that it's not just emergency notifications that Americans find useful on their cell phones. A majority of Americans (59 percent) say they would prefer to do any of the following activities via text rather than by phone or email: receive reminders for appointments or to pay bills, receive discounts or coupons, change a password, or get updates about flight changes or cancellations.

A majority of Americans, 71 percent, say they have found themselves in a severe weather or emergency situation without power and/or access to Internet or television, and 41 percent have been unaware of a local disaster in real time.

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