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Nationwide Test of Wireless Emergency Alerts

Glen Burnie, MD (August 9, 2021) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on Wednesday, August 11, 2021 at 2:20 pm. If the scheduled test is canceled due to widespread severe weather or other significant events, a back-up testing date is scheduled for Wednesday, August 25, 2021.

Wireless Emergency Alerts are used to send alerts and warnings to the public during times of national emergency. They are used locally to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones. There are five different types of WEA alerts that you may receive including:

  • Presidential Alerts: Only sent during a national emergency; 
  • Imminent Threat Alerts: Used for natural or human-made disasters; 
  • Public Safety Alerts: Used for events less severe than imminent threat alerts;
  • America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response (AMBER) Alerts: Urgent bulletins issued in child-abduction cases; and 
  • Test Messages: Used to assess the capability of state and local officials to send emergency alerts.

On Wednesday, August 11, 2021 at approximately 2:20 pm, those with cellular devices that are turned on, within range of an active cell tower, and who’s wireless provider participates in WEA, should receive the following test message: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” 

If someone near you received a WEA and you did not, it may be due to inadequate cell reception or because some mobile phones will not show an alert during a phone call. If your mobile phone continues to receive the same WEA repeatedly, it is most likely an issue with the device. Mobile phones should ignore subsequent re-broadcasts of a WEA but sometimes a device gets stuck in a loop repeating the same alert. If this occurs, try powering off the device and turning it back on. For more information visit fcc.gov/consumers/guides/wireless-emergency-alerts-wea 

After the test has been conducted we ask that everyone fill out our quick survey to identify whether or not they received the test alert. Visit https://forms.gle/vQB39Ej4J2w3ThGz5 to complete the survey. 

We strongly encourage everyone to also sign up for Alert Anne Arundel which utilizes our County Mass Notification System to send other important alerts and warnings directly to your device.  Visit http://alertannearundel.civicready.com/ to sign up and choose from a list of alert and notification groups that you would like to receive phone, text, or email messages from. 

An alternate format is available upon request.  Contact the Office of Emergency Management at 410-222-0600 or [email protected] TTY users, please call via Maryland Relay 7-1-1.  
 

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