How to Get Emergency Texts on Your Phone

Didn’t know about this. How about you


When Winter Storm Nemo hit the Northeast earlier this year, a lot of people living in the area received warning messages on their cellphone—but not everyone. That’s because the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) program that sent the messages isn’t supported by all phones or all carriers’ networks.

WEA, (also known as Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS), launched last year with all four major U.S. cell phone carriers and a handful of smaller ones as an effort to send important news straight to your device. WEA messages look like text messages and come with a unique audible sound and even vibration for the benefit of the hearing-impaired. They’re short descriptions of the situation (the time a blizzard will hit, for instance) and recommendations of any actions you should take. To ensure the messages won’t be delayed by cellular network congestion, the program uses a different technology from text messaging.

There are…

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