ST. PAUL  (AP) - Coming soon to your smartphone, automatic severe weather alerts that don't require a special app or text-message setting.

Anyone with a newer smartphone, or an older one with an updated operating system, should start this week to get "weather emergency alerts" automatically courtesy the National Weather Service and Department of Homeland Security.

The nationwide mobile-alert system won't just warn of oncoming severe weather. Phone users will also get Amber Alerts if a child goes missing. The system could also be used for future nationwide crises.

The system is designed to flag handset users by current location. That means if you live in Minnesota but are traveling in another part of the country, you'll be warned of incoming storms in the place you're visiting.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved)