Wireless Emergency Alerts
Wireless Emergency Alerts
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What are Wireless Emergency Alerts?
Wireless emergency alerts (WEA) are free messages sent directly to mobile devices to warn you about severe weather, AMBER alerts, and threats to safety in your area. Wireless emergency alerts resemble a text message on your mobile phone or other enabled cellular device, but will not interrupt calls in progress.
The WEA notification is designed to get your attention and alert you with a unique sound and vibration. The unique sound and vibration is helpful to people with hearing or vision-related disabilities.They are one-way alerts that are sent to any mobile device in range of the broadcasting cell tower, and are not affected by network congestion. Wireless customers will not be charged for the delivery of WEA messages and do not need to download an app or subscribe to a service to receive them. All major wireless carriers participate in this service and most mobile devices sold today already have the alerts enabled, however not all mobile devices can receive WEAs. To find out if your phone is WEA- capable, contact your wireless provider or visit https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/wireless-emergency-alerts-wea.
Types of Wireless Emergency Alerts
- Presidential alerts during a national emergency
- AMBER alerts
- Extreme weather messages from the National Weather Service
- Tornado and flash flood warnings
- Hurricane, dust storm, and extreme wind warnings
- Blizzard and ice storm warnings
- Local emergency alerts from Gwinnett County Emergency Management
- Earthquake warnings
- Immediate evacuations
- Fire warnings
- Hazardous materials warnings
- Local area emergencies
- Shelter-in-place warnings
- Telephone outage emergencies
Who Can Send Wireless Emergency Alerts?
Wireless emergency alerts are only sent by authorized government alerting authorities such as the President of the United States, the National Weather Service, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, and some local emergency management authorities, including the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. The messages must fit specific criteria in order to be sent and messages will not be duplicated by another agency.
Why is This Important to Me?
Wireless emergency alerts received at the right time can help save lives during an emergency, so do not ignore these messages! The warnings sent to your mobile device contain basic instructions to keep you safe, so if you receive an alert, follow the instructions and seek additional information from local news sources.