Anyone with a cell phone in Loudoun County between 10 and 11 a.m. should have received a test of the new regional Wireless Emergency Alerts system. You would have noticed the loud noise and accompanying text message. County leaders want to know it you got it.
Loudoun County is one of more than a dozen jurisdictions in the National Capital Region 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 buzzed and received the following message: “A test of the Loudoun County Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action required.”
Residents are asked to complete a short survey about the program. Click here to add your input.
Unlike the county’s Alert Loudoun system, the public does not sign up to receive wireless emergency alert messages. The messages are automatically deployed through an authorized jurisdiction’s wireless emergency alert system, which allows public safety officials to target emergency information to a specific geographic area. Anyone with mobile devices that are enabled to receive those messages and who is located near cell towers within the defined message target area will receive the test alert. It is possible that individuals may receive more than one 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.
The Wireless Emergency Alert system 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.