Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are short emergency messages from authorized federal, state, local, tribal and territorial public alerting authorities that can be broadcast from cell towers to any WEA‐enabled mobile device in a locally targeted area. Wireless providers primarily use cell broadcast technology for WEA message delivery. WEA is a partnership among FEMA, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and wireless providers to enhance public safety.
WEAs can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm’s way, without the need to download an app or subscribe to a service. WEAs are messages that warn the public of an impending natural or human-made disaster. The messages are short and can provide immediate, life-saving information.
WEAs are separate from our DickinsonAlert notifications. Your phone will receive WEAs regardless of whether or not you're registered for DickinsonAlert.
Types of Wireless Emergency Alerts
Wireless Emergency Alert Tips
- Follow the action advised by the alert. The message will show the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert. The message will be no more than 360 characters. You can get more details from your local authorities, local news or trusted social media sources.
- WEAs have a unique tone and vibration, both repeated twice. WEA messages are free and will not count towards texting limits on your wireless plan.
- Wireless providers are selling devices with WEA capability included. To find out if your phone can receive WEA alerts, contact your wireless provider. All the major providers participate in WEA on a voluntary basis.
- If you are on a phone call when a WEA is sent in your area, the message will be delayed until you finish your call.
- WEAs do not track your location. They are broadcast from area cell towers to mobile phones within the defined geographic location. Every WEA-capable phone within range receives the message.
- WEAs are not affected by network congestion.