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Wireless Emergency Alerts

Contributed by Provi Sharpe, Director of Emergency Management and Reuse Projects, MDTAP

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) send free informational text messages to WEA-enabled cell phones within range of an imminent and dangerous local situation, severe weather event, or AMBER emergency.  The WEA notification is designed to get your attention and notify you with a unique sound and vibration. When you receive an alert, take action and check local broadcasts for more information.  Public safety officials use WEA to send essential information whenever you are near the location of a life-threatening event.  You do not need to register to receive WEA notifications. You will automatically receive alerts if you have a WEA-capable phone and your wireless carrier participates in the program.

To find out if your mobile device is capable of receiving WEA alerts, contact your mobile device carrier or visit CTIA The Wireless Association. If you choose not to receive WEA messages, you can adjust the alert settings on your mobile device. You can opt-out of receiving imminent hazard and AMBER alerts, but you cannot opt-out of Presidential alerts.

For more information about Wireless Emergency Alerts, download the WEA Fact Sheet or view FEMA WEA Frequently Asked Questions.


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