Scenario: You’re unwinding for the night and reading your favorite book before getting some nice, restful sleep. Suddenly, your cell phone makes an unusual sound compared to receiving a text or email. You reach over to investigate. To your surprise, your phone just alerted you to a tornado warning for your county! You quickly spring into action and head for safety.
This simple alert is associated with Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs), which are free wireless notifications delivered to a mobile device. Many devices are capable of receiving these notifications, and here is a great list for reference: Capable Phones. WEAs can be related to imminent danger, AMBER alerts, or presidential. Although WEAs may be turned on, they will only be delivered if the cell phone is within the respective geographic area. This can be especially useful for people that are unable to hear a tornado siren, the elderly, living in a rural area, etc. For frequently asked questions regarding WEAs, click here: FAQs. The video below provides a wonderful synopsis of the WEA system.
YouTube of WEA’s (Courtesy of WANE Fort Wayne, IN)