Learn More About New Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)

Posted at 2 p.m.

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Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are free informational text messages that are sent to WEA-enabled cellphones within range of an imminent and dangerous local situation, severe weather event or AMBER emergency. Fairfax County now has the capability to send these messages and other jurisdictions may soon have the ability, too.

WEAs are emergency messages sent by local authorized government authorities through wireless carriers’ networks. The alerts include a unique sound and vibration, are no more than 90 characters, and instruct specific actions individuals should take.  

  • Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)The WEA notification is designed to get your attention and notify you with a unique sound and vibration.
  • Public safety officials use WEA to send you essential information whenever you are near the location of a life-threatening event.
  • You will automatically receive alerts if you have 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.

For more information about Wireless Emergency Alerts, read the WEA Fact Sheet. More information on WEAs also is online at www.Ready.gov/alerts.


About Fairfax County Emergency Information

Official emergency information about preparedness, response and recovery from Fairfax County Government.

One response to “Learn More About New Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)”

  1. Alex says :

    I was looking at a previous article about the statewide tornado drill and the county said that sirens were not useful and unneeded. I disagree. Federal Signal makes electronic sirens with live and recorded voice capability, so you can give instructions on how to react to the warning.
    The Federal Signal Modulator is one example. It is omnidirectional and voice compatible. It also has many siren tones that come with it. Federal signal optimizes indoor and outdoor warning by using its warning software so it can tap into buildings speakers. The newest model of the Modulator has can project sound at 70 decibels at over 4000 feet away, making it easily audible indoors.

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