A new national alert system is set to launch soon in New York, but will then spread to other cities in the United States. The alert system is already available on some smart phones, but beginning next year, all phones must come equipped with the chip and software that would allow the alert system to reach you.

The alert system would send you Amber Alerts, local emergency alerts, Presidential alerts and more. According to CBS New York:

The Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency said the system would also warn about terrorist attacks and natural disasters.

Verizon and AT&T, the nation’s largest cell phone carriers, are already on board. Consumers would be able to opt out of all but those presidential messages.

I don't think that this is a bad idea really. It's 2011 and just about all of us have cell phones and carry them everywhere we go. Being able to alert citizens is a good thing. However, I think we should be allowed to opt-out of everything if we want, including Presidential alerts. I also hate that the government is requiring cell phone companies to do this. Why not just create an app or make it optional as well?

What do you think about this new alert system? Good or bad idea?