ZZ_Wireless Emergency Alerts

"Earthquake early warnings now available through wireless emergency alerts. W.E.A." There is a picture of a phone with an emergency alert on the screen face. The phones shows an alert that says "Emergency Alert Earthquake! Earthquake! Expect Shaking. Drop. Cover. Hold On. Protect yourself now"What is WEA?

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) is a nation-wide system providing lifesaving information for the State of California. WEAs are used to send concise, text-like messages in English and Spanish to WEA-capable mobile devices during emergency situations. WEAs are sent by your state and local public safety officials, the National Weather Service, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the President of the United States. 

Types of Alerts

Presidential: Alerts issued by the President or a designee during a national emergency. 

Imminent Threat: Alerts issued when an imminent threat to life or property exists in your area, including severe man-made or natural disasters such as earthquakes, wild fires, hurricanes, and tornadoes. 

AMBER: Alerts issued to help law enforcement search for and locate an abducted child. 



Alerting Thresholds" that includes a color-coded 1-10 scale of shaking intensity from not felt to extreme. To the right of the scale, there is a logo for the Wireless Emergency Alert System and a label saying "WEA used in response to magnitude 5.0 earthquake to people who will experience shaking level IV (light) or greater". To the right of the WEA logo there is a MyShake app logo and a label saying "MyShake used in response to magnitude 4.5 earthquake to people who will experience shaking level III (weak) or greater.

Earthquake Alerting Thresholds

WEA alerts will be sent out when earthquakes pose an imminent threat. The WEA alerts will only be sent out for earthquakes over a 5.0 with shaking intensity 4.

What you need to know

  • WEAs are designed to get your attention and alert you with a unique sound and vibration. WEAs are rebroadcast until the emergency situation has passed and is no longer a threat to those in the area. 
  • WEAs are not affected by network congestion and will not disrupt text, calls, or data sessions that are in progress. 
  • WEAs are no more than 90 characters, and they include the following information: 
  • Who is sending the alert
  • What is happening
  • Who is affected
  • What action to take 
  • Mobile users are not charged for receiving WEAs and are automatically enrolled to receive them. 
  • There are already a number of success stories across the United States on how WEAs have saved people’s lives.
  • Check with your wireless provider to confirm WEAs are available in your area and your device is capable of receiving WEAs.
For more information, please see the Wireless Emergency Alerts General FAQ