Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) Systems: Survey Participants Needed to Ensure Accessibility & Usefulness

December 11, 2013. The Georgia Tech Wireless Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) is conducting a Wireless Emergency Alert Systems Survey on the usefulness of wireless emergency alerts currently sent out on mobile wireless devices. You may already be receiving Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on your cell phone. These alerts are automatic, provide AMBER alerts, and weather emergency notifications. In some areas they may be referred to as Personalized Local Alerting Network (PLAN) or as ‘government alerts’ but the official name is Wireless Emergency Alerts and you don’t have to sign up for them. These WEA messages are unlike text alerts that you may receive also from your city, county, or other institution (e.g., a transit authority) and that you signed up for. Typically WEA "messages" involve information on wicked weather or emergency situations.

The data collected in the survey will be of great interest to regulatory authorities -- like the FCC -- and other professionals working to improve emergency warnings or strengthen the alert dissemination channels used to warn the public. Georgia Tech researchers want to be sure the data collected includes the needs of people with disabilities.  They hope to collect rich data on the experiences of individuals with disabilities, the experiences of caregivers, as well as the perspective of the general public in order to compare results about effectiveness of emergency communications. The survey allows for your comments and input on various topics. The survey will close on Thursday, February 6th, 2014.


If you have questions, or wish to take this survey over the phone or on paper, please contact: DeeDee Bennett, Ph.D., Center for Advanced Communications Policy, Wireless RERC, Georgia Institute of Technology, 500 Tenth Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30032.Tel 404-385-4618 or Email 

Take the Survey now here.