Saturday afternoon while South Dakotans were preparing for the blizzard  that was forecast, our cell phones started making weird noises and if you're like me, it kind of freaked you out!

Judging by Facebook and talking to other friends, it was the first time it had happened to all of us. But it's something that actually started last summer. Here in South Dakota, we just hadn't had a weather event severe enough to trigger it.

Last May, the National Weather Service now has the ability to send out severe weather warnings to let us know if we're in the path of blizzards, tornadoes, flash floods and hurricanes. It's called the Weather Emergency Alerts (WEA) They're delivered free of charge to most cell phones on major wireless carriers.

Plus it's location based, so here in South Dakota, we didn't get alerts about the storm that pummeled the northeast United States this weekend.

In addition to weather alerts, don't be surprised if you get other warnings. AMBER alerts for missing children and Presidential alerts during a national emergency will also be delivered through the WEA.

Some may look at it as 'Big Brother is watching". I'm going to look at it as "Big Brother's trying to keep me safe."

Did you get the alerts Saturday? What do you think of the new system?