FCC Chairman Ajit Pai explains how the Wireless Emergency Alert system works.
The Wireless Emergency Alerts system is an essential part of America's emergency preparedness. Since its launch in 2012, the WEA system been used more than 33,000 times to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations – all through alerts on cell phones.
WEA is a public safety system that allows customers who own certain wireless phones and other enabled mobile devices to receive geographically-targeted, text-like messages alerting them of imminent threats to safety in their area.
WEA enables government officials to target emergency alerts to specific geographic areas – lower Manhattan, for example.
WEA was established in 2008 pursuant to the Warning, Alert and Response Network (WARN) Act and became operational in 2012.
Wireless companies volunteer to participate in WEA, which is the result of a unique public/private partnership between the FCC, FEMA and the wireless industry to enhance public safety.
FAQs about WEA
- How does WEA work?
- Who receives the alerts?
- How much do consumers pay to receive WEA?
- Do consumers have to sign up to receive alerts?
- What alerts does WEA deliver?
- What do consumers experience when they receive a WEA?
- Are consumers able to receive WEAs on a prepaid phone?
- Does WEA track my location?
- Are WEAs text messages?
- Do consumers need a new phone or a smart phone to receive alerts?
- Is WEA available everywhere?
- Can consumers block WEAs?
- Why can't consumers block WEAs issued by the President?
- How will subscribers know if their carrier offers WEA?
- My friends and I have the same wireless carrier. They just received a WEA over their cell phones, but I have not. Why?
- How geographically precise is WEA?
- What is the FCC's role in WEA?
- Does the FCC send alerts?