Periodic testing of public alert and warning systems help assess the operational readiness of the system and identify any improvements. Public safety officials need to be sure that in times of an emergency or disaster, they have reliable methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public. Conducting a regional test supports the continued use, training, and improvement of the WEA system.
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 by authorized officials.
More information on WEA, including a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions, is available from the Federal Communications Commission.