NY-Alert can warn people of extreme weather, hazardous materials spills, road closures, terrorist attacks and much more.
But you won't get the warning if you don't register. To enroll, visit the system's Web site at https://alert.ny.gov/ then click the "sign up" option along the left side.
Your local emergency managers will be able to contact only your home phone if you do not register your cellular number, fax number or e-mail address.
Registration is broken up by county, town and the variety of alerts a person wishes to receive. Public safety officials said some parents are signing up for alerts in the town where their children are attending college, just to stay informed.