When emergencies strike, your C Spire smartphone will make you the first to know
WEA Logo

C Spire is now part of the national Wireless Emergency Alerts system. The WEA is a public alert system that broadcast messages from authorized sources, similar to the emergency broadcast alerts on television. If you're located in an affected area or travel into one while the WEA alert is active, you'll receive free notification messages tailored for your local area. The WEA system is local to the county level, so you won't receive messages that don't apply to you. Expect to see WEA messages during local or national emergencies such as:

  • Tsunamis
  • Earthquakes
  • Severe Weather
  • Amber Alerts

If your smartphone is listed on this page, WEA messages are already active and you don't need to do anything. If your model isn't listed, install the free C Spire Emergency Alerts app for Android smartphones from the Google Play store.

WEA notifications are just one more way C Spire keeps customers safe and informed.

List of WEA-capable smartphones

If your Android device is not listed above, download the free Emergency Alerts app.

Wireless Emergency Alerts FAQs

What are WEA messages?

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), also known as Commercial Mobile Alert System, is a nationwide system of emergency messages sent by authorized government alerting authorities through C Spire Wireless and other mobile carriers. Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Weather Service.

Why is this important to me?

Alerts received at the right time can help keep you safe during an emergency. With WEA, alerts are automatically sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm's way.

What types of alerts will I receive?

  • Extreme weather warnings
  • Local emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action
  • AMBER Alerts for missing children
  • Presidential Alerts during a national emergency

Examples

What does a WEA message look like?

WEA will look like a text message. The WEA message will show the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert. The message will be no more than 90 characters.

Iphone  |   Android

How will I know the difference between WEA and a regular text message?

WEA messages include a special tone and vibration, both repeated twice. In some smartphone models, there may be an audible warning.

What types of WEA messages will the National Weather Service send?

  • Tsunami Warnings
  • Tornado and Flash Flood Warnings
  • Hurricane, Typhoon, Dust Storm and Extreme Wind Warnings
  • Blizzard and Ice Storm Warnings

What should I do when I receive a WEA message?

Follow any action advised by the emergency message. Seek more details from local media or authorities.

Will I receive a WEA message if I'm visiting an area where I don't live, or outside the area where my phone is registered?

Yes, C Spire is participating in this program and you will receive the message if you have a WEA-capable phone or have downloaded the appropriate app. For more information about which C Spire mobile devices are WEA-capable, please refer to the list of compatible devices above.

What if I travel into a threat area after a WEA message is already sent?

If you travel into a threat area after an alert is first sent, your WEA-capable device will receive the message when you enter the area.

When will I start receiving WEA messages?

C Spire is certified by FEMA to broadcast WEA messages on its network. Most of the devices on the C Spire network are WEA-capable or if you have an older Android smartphone (Android OS 2.1 or higher), you can download a free C Spire developed app called C Spire Emergency Alerts from Google Play. For information about which mobile devices are WEA-capable, please refer to the list of compatible devices above.

Is this the same service public safety agencies have asked the public to register for?

No, but the service is complementary. Local agencies may have asked you to sign up to receive telephone calls, text messages, or emails. Those messages often include specific details about a critical event. WEA are very short messages- usually 90 characters or less - designed to get your attention in an emergency situation. They may not provide all the details you might otherwise receive from other notification services.

Will I be charged for receiving WEA messages?

No. This service is offered free of charge by C Spire and other wireless carriers. WEA messages will not count towards texting limits on your wireless texting or data plan.

Does WEA know where I am? Is it tracking me?

No. Just like emergency weather alerts you see on local TV, WEA are broadcast from area cell towers to mobile devices in the area. Every WEA-capable phone within range receives the message, just like every TV shows the emergency weather alert if it is turned on. TV stations, like WEA, don't know exactly who is tuned in.

Will a WEA message interrupt my phone conversations?

No, the alert will be delayed until you finish your call.

How often will I receive WEA messages?

You may receive frequent WEA messages during an emergency. Message frequency depends on the number of imminent threats to life or property in your area issued by authorized local and state emergency response agencies.

If, during an emergency, I can't make or receive calls or text messages due to network congestion, will I still be able to receive a WEA message?

Yes, WEA messages are not affected by network congestion.

What if I don't want to receive WEA messages?

You can opt-out of receiving WEA messages for imminent threats and missing person alerts, but not for Presidential messages. To manage your preferences for specific alerts, go to the settings icon on your device, click on the notification center or the WEA application on your Android device and select and save your preferences. See your device manual for instructions or visit www.ctia.org/wea for more information.

The NWS issues warnings for smaller areas called polygons. Will my mobile phone receive the tornado warning alert if my location is outside of this polygon?

Your mobile phone will pick up the tornado warning alert down to the county level where you are located in. The current software program isn't capable of narrowing the alert for just those cell phones located within polygon warning area smaller than a county.

How will I receive alerts if I don't have a WEA-capable device or an Android smartphone with the C Spire emergency alerts app?

WEA is one of many ways you can receive emergency notifications. Other sources include NOAA Weather Radio, news media coverage, the Emergency Alert System on radio and TV broadcasts, social media, and other alerting methods offered by local and state public safety agencies. Your best use of WEA is to immediately seek additional information about the imminent threat impacting your area.

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