Service provides weather, emergency alerts by phone

Twitter Header AlertThe Fort Meade garrison has harnessed the power of social media to alert the community of changes in operating status due to emergencies or severe weather.

Launched in late 2011, Fort Meade Alert is a Twitter-based service that sends text alerts to a subscriber’s cellphone without requiring a Twitter account.

Individuals who wish to subscribe should text “follow FtMeadeAlert” to 40404.

40404 is the short code, or abbreviated phone number, that U.S. cellphone carriers use to identify Twitter for text messaging.

In some cases, Fort Meade users have reported unsolicited messages sent to their phones from the number 40404. This is because the short code allows users to receive text messages from any Twitter profile just by texting “follow” and the profile name to 40404.

Users should always verify the source of any message by checking for the sender’s name preceded by an “@” symbol at the start of each message. For example, Fort Meade hosts two distinct profiles: @FtMeadeAlert and @FtMeadeMD.

Users have three options to stop receiving unsolicited messages. To “unfollow” another user, text “unfollow username” (without the @ symbol) to 40404.

If users don’t want to “unfollow” the sender completely, but only wish to stop receiving text updates, the other options are to text “leave” or “off,” followed by the username. (Example: off username or leave username).

Standard text messaging rates apply to anyone receiving text alerts. However, there is no cost to Fort Meade to offer this service.

Fort Meade offers many other social media venues to bring you the latest news and information. To view them all, see the “connect with us” section at the top of ftmeade.army.mil.

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