Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) is a new public notification system which is used to deliver emergency text-like messages to wireless devices (i.e.cell phones) using the Wireless Emergency Alert service. WEA is partnership between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and wireless carriers to enhance public safety. Most WEA alerts will be issued by NOAA’s National Weather Service for notification of imminent severe weather conditions such as tornado warnings. This service can also be used to issue Presidential messages, AMBER alerts and other imminent threat messages.
Individuals are not required to register for this service. Messages will be automatically broadcast to all cell phones within range of designated towers that are in the area of the emergency. For more information on the WEA system, citizens should contact their wireless service provider or go to http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/wea.html#.VjOkWberTcs on the internet.
Wireless Emergency Alerts are a part of the national Emergency Alert System.
Emergency Alert System
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, satellite digital audio service and direct broadcast satellite providers, cable television systems, and wireless cable systems to provide the President with a communications capability to address the American people within 10 minutes during a national emergency.
EAS may also be used by state and local authorities, in cooperation with the broadcast community, to deliver important emergency information, such as weather information, imminent threats, AMBER alerts, and local incident information targeted to specific areas.
The President has sole responsibility for determining when the national-level EAS will be activated. FEMA is responsible for national-level EAS tests and exercises.
EAS is also used when all other means of alerting the public are unavailable, providing an added layer of resiliency to the suite of available emergency communication tools.