Peer-to-peer (p2p) networks and Mobile ad hoc networks (MANET) have been widely studied. However, a real-world deployment for the masses has remained elusive. Ever-increasing density of mobile devices, especially in urban areas, has given rise to new applications of p2p communication. However, the modern smartphone platforms have limited support for such communications. Further, the issues of battery life, range, and trust remain unaddressed. A key question then is, what kinds of applications can the modern mobile platforms support and what challenges remain? This paper identifies a class of applications and presents a novel center-to-peer-to-peer (c2p2p) architecture called Mesh Network Alerts (MNA) to support them. We describe our experiences in deploying MNA as a real-world system to millions of users for relaying severe weather information along with the challenges faced, and the approaches for addressing them.