Government agencies at local, state and federal level issue emergency or disaster notifications. These are also broadcast to all Television and radio stations who in turn broadcast it to you, the viewer or listener. In addition, many of these agencies issue Wireless Alerts in coordination with Wireless Carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc. If you have a mobile phone, you may have been automatically signed up by the city or federal government to receive wireless alerts through your mobile carrier.
You have probably experienced one of these mass alerts if you have been in a room full of people and everyone’s phone started beeping at the same time! Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are notifications send by authorized government agencies to notify residents in a particular area about an emergency or warning through a wireless carrier. You will see the following logo or graphic so you know it is a legitimate message.
Types of alerts include:
1. Extreme weather, and other threatening emergencies in your area, usually sent by the National Weather Service or NWS or other government agencies, such as:
- Tornado and Flash Flood Warnings
- Hurricane, Typhoon, Tropical Storm, Dust Storm and Extreme Wind Warnings
- Earthquakes and Tsunami Warnings
2. AMBER Alerts
3. Presidential Alerts during a national emergency
Although, you can opt-out of these messages by contacting your mobile carrier, it is not recommend.
I live a few blocks of the Flood Zone. Even though I live a few floors above ground level, I get flash flood warnings. When you are in a meeting and everyone’s phones are going off simultaneously, you know it’s a warning of some sort! I don’t mind though, at least it tells me not to walk the dog in a torrential downpour! And, stay out of the elevator, just in case the basement is flooded!
In addition to all of the above, the National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) local and national news outlets, the Emergency Broadcast System on radio and Television, outdoor sirens, internet services, and other communication methods are all deployed on an as needed basic by local and state public safety agencies.
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Jasmine Alexander has a B.S. in Computer Science from New York University and a M.B.A. from UCLA Anderson School of Management and is the Founder and CEO of www.jazmine.com, an online organizer that safely stores personal records, account numbers, ownership documents and everything in between.
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