Additional Info on Yesterday’s Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) Test

Posted at 12:30 p.m.

Thanks to everyone who has participated in the survey about yesterday’s test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system. Even if you didn’t receive an alert — and we’ve heard from numerous folks that didn’t — we still encourage you to take the survey and let our emergency management officials know.

There are several reasons why you may not have received the WEA test:

  • Some participating carriers may offer WEA on some, but not all, of their mobile devices. Consumers should check with their wireless carriers to find out if their cellphone is WEA-capable.
  • When the test was deployed, a person was taking a call on their cellphone.
  • If apps are running, you may not have received the audible alert.
  • Participation in WEA by wireless carriers is widespread, but voluntary. Some carriers may offer WEA over all or parts of their service areas or over all or only some of their wireless devices. Other carriers may not offer WEA at all. Even if you have a WEA-enabled device, you would not receive WEAs in a service area where the provider is not offering WEA or if your device is roaming on a provider network that does not support the WEA service. Consumers should check with their wireless carriers to determine the extent to which they are offering WEA.
  • It’s also possible that some residents may have turned off the WEA notification on their cellphone(s).

Sulayman Brown of our Office of Emergency Management was on Facebook Live this morning and discussed the Wireless Emergency Alerts system, the test, why some residents may not have receive it and why it’s important to complete the survey. You can watch that video below.

The WEA survey can be found online at

Sign up for Fairfax Alerts at

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

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