Wisconsin Emergency Management

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)
Local and State Emergency Officials and the National Weather Service will have another tool for alerting the public to dangerous conditions - called Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). These emergency alerts will be sent to the newer version of cell phones in affected areas. Alerts will continue to be issued or available on other sources including radio/TV stations, on NOAA Weather Radios and local sirens. These emergency alerts will be activated by cell towers, so if you are driving through an alerted area, you will automatically see the message on your cell phone.

Weather Alerts

These messages will include:

  • Tsunami Warnings
  • Hurricane and Typhoon Warnings
  • Tornado Warnings
  • Flash Flood Warnings
  • Extreme Wind Warnings
  • Dust Storm Warnings

Thunderstorm warnings will not be issued on the WEA system. These short messages may look like a text message and are limited to 90-characters. Other key information includes:

  • The alert message will include a unique ringtone and vibration that will be repeated twice
  • Cell phone users WILL NOT be charged for WEA Messages
  • Emergency alerts will not interrupt any calls or downloads in progress. You will receive the alert when you end your call.
  • The system does not identify your location or phone number. It simply sends the message to all devices in a given area
  • Cell phone providers will conduct a monthly test on the third Thursday

If you have an older model cell phone, you may not receive the Wireless Emergency Alerts. Check with your service provider to find out if your phone is WEA-capable.

Other Types of Cell Phone Alerts

Later in 2012, first responder groups will also be able to issue an alert to cell phones for emergency items including Amber Alerts for child abduction, local emergencies required evacuation or immediate action and Presidential Alerts during a national emergency. Cell phone users can opt out of receiving these alerts by contacting their cell phone provider.

Click To View PSA

Click To View Public Service Announcement (30seconds)

Cell Phone Alerts

Be Smart. Know your Alerts and Warnings

Will I Get Alerts On My Cellphone?

Cell Phone Q and A

Cell Phone Alert Brochure

Weather Alerts on the Go - National Weather Service.

FEMA - Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS)

ReadyWisconsin is an initiative of Wisconsin Emergency Management designed to educate and empower Wisconsinites to prepare for
and respond to all kinds of emergencies including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.

Wisconsin Emergency Management
2400 Wright St.
Madison, WI 53704
Phone: 608.242.3000     Fax: 608.242.3247