Wireless Emergency Alert Testing on Tap in D.C. Area

Twenty local jurisdictions will simultaneously issue a test message April 5 to the public through the WEA system.

People in or near the National Capital Region in Washington, D.C., on April 5 will be part of a test of the regional Wireless Emergency Alerts system between 10 and 11 a.m. Cell phones and other mobile devices in the area will receive this message: "A test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts System. No action required." WEA triggers a loud noise and text message on cell phones and enabled mobile devices.

Twenty local jurisdictions will simultaneously issue a test message to the public through the WEA system, including the city of Alexandria, city of Bowie, city of College Park, city of Fairfax, city of Falls Church, city of Gaithersburg, city of Greenbelt, city of Takoma Park, city of Manassas, city of Manassas Park, city of Rockville, the District of Columbia, Arlington County, Charles County, Fairfax County, Frederick County, Loudoun County, Montgomery County, Prince George's County, and Prince William County.

"Testing these notification systems is an important part of our preparedness system," Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said. "During an imminent weather emergency or other serious threat, these alerts will save lives."

The state noted that during this test, it is possible people may receive more than one alert message. Those who travel from one jurisdiction to another may hear messages from each jurisdiction, and people who live or travel in areas near the jurisdictions listed above may receive the message because the technology uses cellular carrier towers.

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. Additional information on WEA is located at https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/wireless-emergency-alerts-wea.

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