BOSTON — The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has developed a free application for smartphones known as ‘Massachusetts Alerts,’ which keeps residents informed of emergencies in their area through public safety notifications.

The application utilizes the current location of users, as well as selectable preferences, to notify individuals about a variety of emergencies including severe weather advisories, AMBER alerts, and other pertinent information during statewide emergencies and disasters.

“It’s important for folks to be aware of developing situations that could place them or their families in danger,” said Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) who serves as Senate Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security. “Central Massachusetts is no stranger to rapid changes in weather patterns and this phone app is a useful tool to keep apprised of important emergency notifications.”

Individuals traveling outside the Bay State this summer who wish to stay informed on weather alerts may also download a similar mobile application by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The FEMA application delivers alerts from the National Weather Service, and provides safety tips, emergency checklists, and serves as a disaster damage photo sharing platform.

The ‘Massachusetts Alerts’ application and the FEMA application are available for free on both iPhone and Android devices through the App Store and Android Market. For more information, please visit the MEMA website, http://www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/mema/be-prepared/be-informed/massachusetts-alerts.html.