Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency notifications from local, state, or federal officials that are broadcast to cell phones in a targeted area, alerting residents about the emergency, and with important, but limited information such as the emergency's location, what actions residents should take, and how they can find out more information. WEA messages are limited to 90 characters, so it’s important for residents to follow up on the alerts by turning to local media and/or officials for additional details. Most newer phones are WEA-capable, and no registration is required, so whether you’re a long term resident, or recently arriving tourist, student, or military service member, if your phone is WEA-capable, you can get these important alerts.
The National Weather Service and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children can also send WEA messages to residents to alert them to possible dangers like Flash Flood Warnings, or with information on abducted children with AMBER Alerts.
Due to the many varying cell phones on the market, if you are unsure if your phone is WEA-capable, your cellphone manufacturer and provider are the best sources to consult with to determine if your device can receive these important messages.