Wireless calls travel over airwaves to another phone, and just like radios, they can be obstructed by conditions outside. You can maximize your wireless service during an emergency situation by being prepared and following a few simple tips.
Wireless Emergency Alerts
Most wireless carriers send emergency alerts from authorized government agencies directly to your cell phone. No registration is required. You will automatically receive Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) if you have a WEA capable phone and your wireless carrier participates in the program. WEAs can be sent by authorized local and state public safety agencies, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service.
WEAs are free messages, limited to 90 characters and sent using one-way cell broadcast technology, even if other wireless voice and data services in the area are highly congested. The messages include a special tone and vibration, both repeat twice. There are three types of alerts:
For information about which mobile devices are WEA-capable and wireless carrier participation, please visit ctia.org/wea or contact your wireless carrier.
Updated May 2017