Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)

Starting the week of June 18, 2012, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) paved the way for warnings, watches, advisories, and special statements to be sent via the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS), also known as the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). The new alerts are not sent by the City of Lakeway.

The CMAS warnings cover alerts issued by the president, alerts involving imminent threats to safety or life, and Amber Alerts (missing children). The carriers may allow subscribers to block everything but the alerts issued by the President.
The Wireless Emergency Alerts, which appear like text messages, will be used for tsunami, tornado, flash flood, hurricane and typhoon, extreme wind, blizzard and ice storm, and dust storm warnings. The CMAS allows authorized national, state or local government officials to send alerts regarding public safety emergencies. The emergency alerts target specific geographic areas through cell towers. If you are visiting Lakeway but you live in Florida, you will receive the alert for Lakeway because the WEA alerts are geographically targeted.
Screen shot CMAS Alert_thumb.png
Customers of participating carriers will be signed up automatically for the alerts that begin next week. Participating carriers include AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular, Cellcom, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless.

Wireless Emergency Alert messages are not the same as text messages. Customers will not be charged for a WEA message and they will not have to be opened like SMS text messages, but will “pop up” on the device’s screen. WEAs avoid the congestion issues currently experienced by traditional SMS alerting services, which translates into faster and more comprehensive delivery of messages during times of emergency.

CMAS is the result of a public/private partnership among the Federal Communications Commission, FEMA and the wireless industry.
For more information, go to the FEMA website at http://www.fema.gov/emergency/ipaws/ or the National Weather Service website at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/notification/pns12critical_warnings.htm.