Presently, as powerful Hurricane Ian continues its track toward Florida, many residents are scrambling to find the most up-to-date information in order to stay safe. The simplest way of staying in the know is by registering to get local weather alerts by using Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), which was formerly known as Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS). These alerts are sent by the National Weather Service (NWS) and are supported by most modern smartphones.
This setting should be available on more recent models of Apple iOS and Android phones, as well as on older phones that have been upgraded to a more recent operating system. However, the setting is normally disabled before these phones are sent out to be sold to customers, which means the phone owner is required to enable it manually. In Android phones, the exact location of the setting can vary. However, in the interest of making these instructions as simple as possible, we will narrow them down to enabling them from within the Google Messages app on a Pixel device.
To turn on WEA (Wireless Emergency Alerts) from the “Messages” app, tap on the three-dot menu and tap on “Settings.” Next, from the settings section, select “Advanced,” followed by “Wireless emergency alerts.”
You will then see several options for emergency alerts. The one that alerts you on weather events is called “State and local tests,” which, in my opinion, is poorly named. Since that alert is not enabled by default, you will most likely find it disabled. Go ahead and enable it. Once enabled, you should start receiving alerts for local weather emergencies.
For those that are currently awaiting the landfall of Hurricane Ian, here’s a neat little trick: Search for “Hurricane Ian” in Google Maps, and you will see the real-time location of the storm along with its projected track. This works for both desktop and mobile.
I just want the steps!
1. Open the Messages app
2. Tap on the three-dot menu
3. Tap on Settings
4. Select Advanced
5. Select Wireless emergency alerts
6. Enable State and local tests