The Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system is a public safety warning system that allows customers who have certain wireless carriers and an enabled mobile device to receive geographically-targeted, text-like messages alerting them of imminent threats to safety in their area. The technology ensures that emergency alerts will not get stuck in highly congested areas, which can happen with standard mobile voice and text data services.
The service is free (i.e. you will not be charged for any incoming messages), but you must have an WEA-capable phone, and the feature must be enabled on your device. Find more information on WEAs.
The three types of alerts through this system are:
- Alerts issued by the President of the United States
- AMBER Alerts (missing persons)
- Alerts involving imminent threats to safety of life. In our area, the National Weather Service (NWS) issues Tornado Warnings and Flash Flood Warnings via WEA
- Starting August 2, 2021, the NWS will also issue WEAs for "destructive" Severe Thunderstorm Events. Read more on this new WEA category.