Cell Phone Users Will Receive Emergency Tone, Text on April 5

Cell Phone Users Will Receive Emergency Tone, Text on April 5

Loudoun County residents are being notified that they are likely to receive an alert signal and a text message between 10 and 11 a.m. on Thursday (April 5).

The noise trigger and text message are part of a regional test of the Wireless Emergency Aert system.

The message will read, “A test of the Loudoun County Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action required.”

Loudoun County is one of more than a dozen jurisdictions in the Washington, D.C., area participating in the country’s first live regional test of the WEA system.

During the WEA test, cell phones or other mobile devices in Loudoun will buzz and the text message will be received.

The public does not sign up to receive WEA messages; they are automatically deployed through an authorized jurisdiction’s WEA system, which allows public safety officials to target emergency information to a specific geographic area. Anyone with a mobile device that is enabled to receive WEA messages and who is located near cell towers within the defined WEA message target area will receive the test alert.

It is possible that some people could receive more than one WEA message during Thursday’s region-wide exercise because multiple jurisdictions are participating in the test. There is no action that anyone needs to take during the test.

WEA allows messaging to be targeted and efficient, which is critical during an emergency.

Since its launch in 2012, the WEA system has been used more than 33,000 times nationwide to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations.

WEA alerts are different than the messages that subscribers to Alert Loudoun receive. No one signs up to receive a WEA message; it is automatically sent through the county’s WEA system.

More information about WEA and the test on April 5 is online at Loudoun.gov/WEA.



Joseph Dill