The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a suite of updates to its mobile warning system are now live, allowing public safety officials to send more precise alerts to citizens in potentially hazardous situations.

The update offers improved geography accuracy for alerts, with operators required to deliver messages across 100 per cent of a target area with an overshoot of no more than one-tenth of a mile.

Other key features include the accommodation of longer messages, with an increased character limit of 360 compared to 90 previously; and the addition of a new class of alerts for officials to distribute pertinent information, such as the location of emergency shelters after a disaster.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement the changes will “help save lives” by making mobile alerts “an even more powerful tool for emergency managers to warn and protect the public”.

The rollout comes nearly two years after the FCC approved an order mandating the upgrades.