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Where do severe weather alerts come from?
BFBF
Member

Does anyone know where the sever weather alerts come from that are sent?  The first year I had my phone I received one for my area Lake Leelanau. Michigan and that is the only one I've received.  I started with an Apple iphone 5 and now have a 6.  Both phones have the severe alerts turned on.  The 1st alert I received was while I was at work which was 7 miles from my home which is where the alert was for.  Yesterday we had a severe Thunderstorm and possible Tornado over my town and I didn't receive anything.  I faintly heard a siren in the area but couldn't tell what it was for sure only the general direction (which wasn't the direction of the Tornado siren).  I found out today that it was much worse than that.  Anyone know how to address this issue?

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Correct Answers
Re: Sever Weather alerts
vzw_customer_support
Customer Support

BFBF

I’m glad to hear you are ok. We have been experiencing severe weather here too. Wireless Emergency Alerts are sent to cell sites providing wireless service to very specific areas. Your device may have been receiving service in a different area, or even from an adjacent area cell site, which wasn't targeted by the alert.

Most WEA alerts will be re-broadcast several times to reach the maximum number of devices in the targeted area. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the agency that distributes these Wireless Emergency Alerts. Verizon Wireless does not determine the content of the alerts, when the alerts are sent, where the alerts are sent or which device receives them.

ChristopherM_VZW
Follow us on TWITTER @VZWSupport
If my response answered your question please click the _Correct Answer_ button under my response. This ensures others can benefit from our conversation. Thanks in advance for your help with this!!

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Re: Sever Weather alerts
vzw_customer_support
Customer Support

BFBF

I’m glad to hear you are ok. We have been experiencing severe weather here too. Wireless Emergency Alerts are sent to cell sites providing wireless service to very specific areas. Your device may have been receiving service in a different area, or even from an adjacent area cell site, which wasn't targeted by the alert.

Most WEA alerts will be re-broadcast several times to reach the maximum number of devices in the targeted area. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the agency that distributes these Wireless Emergency Alerts. Verizon Wireless does not determine the content of the alerts, when the alerts are sent, where the alerts are sent or which device receives them.

ChristopherM_VZW
Follow us on TWITTER @VZWSupport
If my response answered your question please click the _Correct Answer_ button under my response. This ensures others can benefit from our conversation. Thanks in advance for your help with this!!

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Re: Sever Weather alerts
BFBF
Member

Thanks for responding so quickly Chris, are the alerts only sent through cell reception?  What I mean is my reception at my home is really bad (topographical issues I think) I have signal at the end of the drive way and I get reception in the house that fluxes between no service to 1 bar to 3 lte depending on how the wind blows (no pun) (Verizon's map shows my home to be in the 4 lte area).  Wifi works fine through the router.  There are several private antennas in the village (of which I'm not connected to any) and the towers are 3 miles on either side of me.  If FEMA is sending multiple broadcasts I should have received at least 1.  Not to mention last year while I was at work there was a severe weather storm that went through my area, didn't know that until I got home and saw the damage.  Two years ago when that happened I received that 1st message at work for my home with no problem, but none since.  What would be nice would be to have FEMA (or someone) send a text out to a targeted area and have people respond and have their location shown so the Emergency Management team could see what fixes are needed to hit a larger audience AND hit any WiFi routers in that location with the same for individuals such as myself that only have Wifi (until Verizon opens that up to cell phone usage).  They would be overwhelmed with responses but it would be worth the effort I think.

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Re: Sever Weather alerts
Loquat
Sr. Member

I've read that they're sent via radio broadcast to mobile devices so having cellular connectivity isn't needed.  With that being said, I've had severe weather come through my area and have received nothing.  I don't know what method they use to determine who gets the alert and when...but I've received them before...but mostly when areas far away from me are experiencing bad weather...can't recall ever getting an alert when bad weather is hitting close to home...

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Re: Sever Weather alerts
BFBF
Member

Thanks for that update Loquat, I just asked Siri on my phone what my location is and she had the right street but wrong city (it used to be correct).  That could be part of my problem while I'm at home but not the issue of not receiving anymore alerts for my home like the first one I received which was a flood alert, since I'm not sure where she's pulling the information from I don't know where to go for the fix.

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Re: Sever Weather alerts
Weth
Sr. Leader

You must be connected to the cellular network for the Wireless Emergency Alerts to work. It is carried on the cellular signal, but has high priority and supersedes all other traffic. It is broadcast only to phones connected to towers in the alert area. If you do not have a cell signal, it will not work. 

The alerts are not controlled by the cell companies at all, they are only passive pass through agents. WEAs can be sent by state and local public safety officials, the National Weather Service, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the President of the United States

Re: Sever Weather alerts
BFBF
Member

Thanks for the update Weth, I get cellular signal but it's very intermittent ranging from no signal to 1 dot and Lte inside the house and 3/4th strength at the end of the street (200 feet away with large hill behind the house).  I looked more into this problem and read comments from another post elsewhere on locations being wrongly reported by Siri and the weather app.  I started testing Siri on my way home and found out that as soon as I hit the Village limit she doesn't recognize the Village correctly.  Our Village is the Village of Lake Leelanau in the township of Leland.  Siri gives me back my city as Leland (which is 5 miles away), it's also the default city in the weather app and on the maps.   With the storms last Sunday, Leland should have received a severe storm alert since it's directly on the water and was one of the towns in the path of the destructive storms that hit the west side of the county.  Even if my signal was bouncing all over the place and it was connected to the tower towards Leland (the other city) something should have come through.  As I previously stated we've had other severe weather at my home while I was at work and those notices haven't come through either and I have full cellular signal there.   I don't know who to take the problem to, I've already reported the problem in the maps several times.

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