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Receive Emergency Alerts on Your Cell Phone

 Free service sends critical information to you

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Our cell phones go with us everywhere. They’re especially useful during emergencies and when we need to stay updated on changing situations.

A free service from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can send up-to-the-minute information to your phone when you need it most to protect your ministry.

Wireless Alerts Provide Emergency Information

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) appear similar to text messages. These messages have their own unique tones and vibrations that repeat twice. If a WEA message appears on your phone, you should follow any emergency instructions and find more information on the subject from local media and authorities. These messages will be relevant to any area in which you are currently present. If you are traveling and you enter a threatened area, a WEA message can automatically notify you of the hazard.

The WEA messages are sent to warn users of various emergencies, such as:

  • Extreme weather (tornadoes, flash floods, hurricanes, blizzards, ice storms, etc.)
  • Amber Alerts
  • Presidential alerts during national emergencies
Messages Unaffected by Network Congestion

More than 100 wireless service carriers offer WEA messages. There’s no need to sign up; there’s no charge to receive these warnings, and they won’t contribute to any texting limits that come with your wireless plan. These messages also are unaffected by network congestion, so even if you are unable to call or text during these situations, a WEA message will still appear on your phone. You also may opt out of these messages through your phone’s settings.

Most new mobile phones are equipped with this capability, which became available in April 2012, but older phones may not be. If your mobile phone doesn’t carry WEA alerts, other ways to receive emergency information include NOAA weather radio, news broadcasts, and the Emergency Alert System on radio and television.