NOW:53208:USA01012
http://widgets.journalinteractive.com/cache/JIResponseCacher.ashx?duration=5&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdata.wp.myweather.net%2FeWxII%2F%3Fdata%3D*USA01012
30°
H 30° L 28°
Clear | 15MPH

What Are These “Emergency Alerts” and Why Are They On My Phone?

July 5, 2013

It’s late, you’re tired, you’ve turned off Conan and are just about to close your eyes for the night when Brrrnnng! your phone gets a message.

No, it’s not the office calling back for one last agenda item. It’s a message alerting you to a tornado that has just been spotted 20 minutes outside of your town.

But what are these alerts, and why are you suddenly receiving them?
These spontaneous, yet beneficial, alerts are referred to as Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) and are a result of a partnership between CTIA-The Wireless Association, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the wireless industry to provide Americans a reliable emergency alert system available on something that 91% of the adult population owns: a mobile device.

The WEA system sends concise, text-like messages to users’ WEA-capable mobile devices within a targeted area. Mobile users are not charged for receiving these text-like alerts and will automatically receive them.

There are three different kinds of alerts:

• Presidential Alerts – Alerts issued by the President or a designee.

• Imminent Threat Alerts – Alerts that include severe man-made or natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc., where an imminent threat to life or property exists.

• AMBER Alerts – Alerts that meet the U.S. Department of Justice's criteria to help law enforcement search for and locate an abducted child.

WEAs use a different kind of technology to ensure they are delivered immediately and are not subjected to potential congestion on wireless networks. That means if you’re in Los Angeles and an earthquake occurred in that area, you would receive an “Imminent Threat Alert” on your device right away and without delay.

Verizon Wireless already provides a variety of WEA enabled devices, and many newer phones will be able to transmit the alerts. To receive these alerts, you might only need to upgrade your device’s software rather than buy a new phone. To confirm whether or not WEAs are available in your area, visit a Verizon Wireless retail location.

In addition to providing customers with this free Wireless Emergency Alert system, Verizon Wireless also recommends a few additional tips to consider to make sure you’re well prepared before you may see an “Imminent Threat Alert” appear on your device:

• Develop a family emergency plan that includes what to do, who to call, where to go and what supplies to take with you if your family must evacuate.

• Keep phones, tablets, laptops, batteries, chargers and other equipment in dry, accessible locations like re-sealable plastic bags. And, have car chargers available to charge devices while on the road.

• Take photos/videos of personal possessions for insurance purposes and save them to an online file storage site such as Verizon Cloud in case of computer/wireless damage.

• When communicating with loved ones during an emergency situation, opt for brief text messages rather than voice calls. Text messages are likely to get through quicker in a crisis.

• Verizon Wireless engages in year-round preparation so customers can stay in touch with family and friends in the event of a natural disaster. There are a variety of additional tips that can help you prepare for and stay connected in the event of an emergency. Visit http://news.verizonwireless.com/Emergency/Consumer_Tips.html to learn more.

Andrea Meyer is public relations manager for Verizon's Illinois/Wisconsin Region. You can follow her on Twitter at @VZWAndrea for more information about wireless trends and news.

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.


Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» Wauwatiki plans to bring Caribbean cuisine, cocktails to East Tosa 3/27

» Student writing contest entries due today 3/27

» Zoo Interchange ramp closing March 26-April 2 3/26

» Wauwatosa police chase ends in crash, injury 3/24

» The Sprint Episode Three: WIAA state basketball tournament retrospective 3/23

» Car fire extinguished at Colectivo in Wauwatosa 3/23

» Top of truck 'peeled back like a can' after collision with bridge in Wauwatosa 3/20

» Wauwatosa mayor, superintendent schedule town hall meetings 3/19

» Architecture firm to replace Caribbean Tan in Wauwatosa 3/19

» Cafe Bavaria in Wauwatosa told to shut down patio fire 3/18

» More than $7,000 in merchandise stolen from Verizon Wireless on Mayfair Road 3/17

» The Sprint Episode Two: local teams look to defend state basketball titles this week 3/16

» Authentic Birth Center celebrates 100th childbirth 3/16

» Tosa East not going to state after 41-40 loss to Greendale in sectional final 3/14

» Green's 3-point buzzer beater helps Tosa East beat Whitefish Bay, 45-43 3/12

» Nordstrom announces opening gala for Wauwatosa store 3/11

» National Weather Service to provide storm-spotting training for Wauwatosa residents 3/11

» Venturis plan to reopen deli at Arcade building in Wauwatosa 3/10

» Two Zoo Interchange ramps closed for several months 3/9

» Tosa East beats West, 56-54, to advance to sectionals against Whitefish Bay on Thursday 3/7

» Tosa East's defense shines in upset of defending state champion Vikings 3/6

» Anthony Nash of Wauwatosa East wins EFW T-shirt design contest 3/6

» Tosa Skatepark seeks graphic designer for firefly image 3/6

» Menomonee River Parkway temporarily closed for excavation 3/5

» Fundraiser covers funeral expenses for victim of Wauwatosa house fire 3/5

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Advertisement

Advertisement

Hidden Tosa

 

"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where reporter Rory Linnane explores the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.

2015 Writing Contest

 

(Click image for details)


Local Business Directory

CONNECT