Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are short emergency messages from authorized federal, state, local, tribal and territorial public alerting authorities that can be broadcast from cell towers to any WEA‐enabled mobile device in a locally targeted area. Wireless providers primarily use cell broadcast technology for WEA message delivery. WEA is a partnership among FEMA, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and wireless providers to enhance public safety.
WEAs can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm’s way, without the need to download an app or subscribe to a service. WEAs are messages that warn the public of an impending natural or human-made disaster. The messages are short and can provide immediate, life-saving information.
Presidential Alerts are a special class of alerts only sent during a national emergency.
Imminent Threat Alerts include natural or human-made disasters, extreme weather, active shooters, and other threatening emergencies that are current or emerging.
Public Safety Alerts contain information about a threat that may not be imminent or after an imminent threat has occurred. Public safety alerts are less severe than imminent threat alerts.
America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response (AMBER) Alerts are urgent bulletins issued in child-abduction cases. Rapid and effective public alerts often play a crucial role in returning a missing child safely. An AMBER Alert instantly enables the entire community to assist in the search for and safe recovery of the child.
Opt-in Test Messages assess the capability of state and local officials to send their WEAs. The message will state that this is a TEST.
Wireless Emergency Alerts are not subscription based and there is no need to provide personal information to be able to receive a WEA. WEAs are based on location. You will receive a WEA message, even if you are:
If you travel into an area after a WEA was sent your WEA-capable device will receive the message, if the alert is still active.
If someone near you received a WEA and you did not, it may be due to inadequate cell reception, or because when on a call, some mobile phones will not show an alert — this varies by make and model.
Not receiving an alert may also be because your mobile phone is:
Information Source: https://www.fema.gov/emergency-managers/practitioners/integrated-public-alert-warning-system/public/wireless-emergency-alerts