10th anniversary of Wireless Emergency Alerts

June 7, 2022 is the 10th anniversary of Wireless Emergency Alerts in the United States.

About 30 countries now use the mobile alert protocol (with country specific names). WEA is that thing which makes your phone buzz loudly and vibrate when there is an emergency message in your area.

Wildfires, tornadoes, tsunamis, amber alerts, evacuations, etc.

One upcoming change, the US is changing the name "Presidential Alert" to "National Alert". This will help tourists and mobile phones in other countries with Prime Ministers. In the US, the National Alert has only been used for tests. Its more common to get Amber Alerts and Imminent Threat Alerts.

Another change, for some reason which Apple hasn't explained, Apple is changing how you can opt-in to local test messages. I assume its because carriers got too many complaints from customers which turned on test emergency alerts accident. Test Alerts are disabled by default. Previously, users could enable test emergency alerts with a keypad code. Now Apple requires downloadeding a special Test Alerts profile every year.

Again, normal users do not need Test Emergency Alerts. These are intended for testing by local authorities.

I have no idea why Apple is making the change.

Android phones are unchanged.

Amazon Alexa devices can enable severe weather alerts. Say, “Alexa, tell me when there’s a severe weather alert.” Or change it in the Alexa App under Settings >Notifications >Severe Weather Alerts.