Know Your Wireless Emergency Alerts

Know Your Wireless Emergency Alerts

Alerts received at the right time can help keep you and your family safe during an emergency.

During an approaching natural disaster, the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) will send a signal to your mobile phone, alerting you of an emergency. Your phone will vibrate and make a loud noise to indicate the emergency. WEA look like text messages, but are designed to get your attention and alert you with a unique sound and vibration, both repeated twice.

With WEA, you don’t need to download an application or subscribe to a service. Check with your service provider to find out if WEA are enabled on your device. Mobile users are not charged for receiving WEA and there is no need to subscribe. View the WEA public service announcement.

There are three types of alerts systems that are sent to your phone during an emergency or official public announcement:

  • Extreme weather and other threatening emergencies in your area;
  • AMBER alerts; and
  • Presidential alerts during a national emergency.

In cases of a weather emergency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio All Hazards offers warnings, watches, forecasts, and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Many local jurisdictions also offer emergency alerts. You can find if your town, city, county, or state has an emergency alert system by performing an Internet search. Simply enter “alert” and the name of your area into a web browser.

The National Weather Service offers more information on WEA, including what kinds of weather emergencies prompt a notification. In addition, FEMA developed answers for frequently asked questions on WEA.

Source: U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

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