The Japanese version of iOS 5 will have a special notifications widget: a setting to turn on instant messages from Japan’s earthquake early warning system. The system is so sensitive that it could reduce your battery life as it polls the warning servers constantly.
iOS 5’s new notifications system uses the iPhone’s old notifications but places it in an easy-to-read, lock-screen based environment that holds the last few messages form various apps. Presumably this early warning system will be considerably more noticeable than a badge on the lock or notifications screen. Apple’s Steve Jobs sent a note and assistance during the major Earthquake in March offering “time or resources to visit or care for your families, please see HR and we will help you.”