IPAWS Tip #26: How to Receive WEA Test Alerts on Android & iOS Phones

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TIP #26: How to Receive WEA Test Alerts on Android & IOS Phones

Most Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA)-capable phones can now receive a new WEA Alert Class: WEA Test.

Recent models of Android and Apple iOS phones, and those upgraded to newer operating systems will have this setting available. However, these phones ordinarily ship to the customer with the WEA Test setting disabled. The phone user must take specific action to enable it to receive test alerts.

Android OS

In Android phones, the exact location of the options to enable WEAs vary.

We recommend that you use the search function in the Settings app to find Emergency Alerts. Turn on State/local test alerts, or a similar setting you may see, if it is available on your phone.

Android WEA Settings

Apple iOS

From the Apple support page About emergency and government alerts on iPhone and Apple Watch:

"Choose to receive Test Emergency Alerts in the United States.

"When your iPhone is connected to a carrier in the United States — using a U.S. SIM or while roaming in the U.S. — you can enable Test Emergency Alerts. By default, this is turned off. When you receive this type of alert, you'll hear a sound that's similar to an alarm, and the alert will mention that it's a test. To turn these alerts on or off, follow these steps:

iOS tap procedureiOS Alerts Setting Screen