Released on April 2, 2018 - 12:46pm

Mayor Craig A. Moe is informing residents that on Thursday, April 5, 2018, at approximately 10:00am, the City of Laurel Office of Emergency Management will participate with the rest of the National Capital Region in a test of the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system, with April 9th, 2018, as the agreed upon backup date.

This test of the WEA system will be the first of its kind on such a large scale. We feel it is necessary to ensure the system is capable and has enough capacity to deliver so many alert messages across the National Capital Region in the event a true need arises.

WEA messages are used to send three primary types of alerts via text-like messages to all WEA-capable mobile devices during emergency situations.  The three types of alerts that can be issued are:

Presidential – Alerts issued by the President or a designee during a national emergency.

Imminent Threat – Alerts issued when an imminent threat to life or property exists in your area, including severe man-made or natural disasters.  (This category is utilized by the Office of Emergency Management).

Amber Alerts – Alerts issued to help law enforcement search for and locate an abducted child.  (This category is utilized by State Police).

On the morning of April 5th, individuals with cell phones or other enabled mobile devices throughout City of Laurel will receive the following message: “This is a TEST of the City of Laurel Alert System.  No action is required.”  The alert will trigger a loud audible noise on the mobile devices.

A public awareness campaign will preempt the official test to ensure City of Laurel residents and visitors are informed about the WEA system and of the planned alert test.  We are working closely with our regional partners to present a unified information campaign across many mediums, such as radio, television and the internet.

Additional information on WEA alerts can be found at https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/wireless-emergency-alerts-wea.

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