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Posted on: April 1, 2018

Loudoun Seeks Survey Responses Following Test of Wireless Emergency Alerts System

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Update: 11:30 a.m., April 5, 2018
On Thursday, April 5, 2018, Loudoun County participated in the regional test of the Wireless Emergency Alert system. Emergency management officials would like to hear from those who received the test on their cell phone or mobile device to determine the effectiveness of the test. You can take this brief survey between now and April 11, 2018.

Original News Release: April 1, 2018
Anyone with a cell phone in Loudoun County between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m., Thursday, April 5, 2018, will likely be part of a regional test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system that will trigger a loud noise while displaying a text message. 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 on April 5, 2018, cell phones or other mobile devices in Loudoun will buzz and receive the following message: “A test of the Loudoun County Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action required.” 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 mobile devices that are 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 individuals may 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, 2018, is online at www.loudoun.gov/WEA.

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