FYI: Another test Saturday for wireless alerts in West Seattle Bridge emergency plan

An FYI from the city:

On July 25 at 12 p.m., the City of Seattle Office of Emergency Management will send a test message through the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system. The alert will only be sent to those who have opted in to receive local test messages through WEA and to a small geographic area under and near the West Seattle Bridge. The message will state: “This is a test of Wireless Emergency Alerts by the City of Seattle. No action is required.”

The national WEA system is an essential part of the City’s emergency preparedness and response. This public safety system allows customers who own compatible devices to receive geographically targeted, text-like messages alerting them of imminent threats to safety in their area. The most common example of these alerts is the “Amber Alerts” sent by Washington State Patrol that directly ping mobile phones.

This is the second test to be conducted as a part of the West Seattle Bridge planning. The first test was conducted on June 26. Though not predicted, the City has emergency plans in place to use the WEA and AlertSeattle systems among other methods to notify people under or near the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge in the event of an immediate collapse.

This test is not linked to any specific action or report related to the condition of the West Seattle Bridge. The test is part of our proactive contingency planning to prepare for unanticipated changes in the bridge that may require an evacuation of community members on Harbor Island.

The City has successfully used the WEA system several times in 2020, though it’s important to test the geographical capabilities of the system to ensure the correct area is targeted. Twenty volunteers from Seattle’s Office of Emergency Management Auxiliary Communication Services will stage in locations on and surrounding Harbor Island during the test to confirm receipt of the message. Results will be collected by Seattle OEM to determine the reach of the system.

6 Replies to "FYI: Another test Saturday for wireless alerts in West Seattle Bridge emergency plan"

  • JayDee July 24, 2020 (9:20 am)

    Closing Michigan all weekend reminds me of Lily Tomlin’s phone Operator’s refrain except this is SDOT: “West Seattle, we are SDOT. We don’t care, we don’t have to.”

    • WSB July 24, 2020 (10:15 am)

      This is not an SDOT project; it’s necessitated by the county stormwater facility project.

    • n7oep July 24, 2020 (3:28 pm)

      What does that have to do with the WEA test???

  • A July 25, 2020 (4:48 pm)

    Did this test happen today?  I am signed up in the WEA system – I occasionally get amber alerts etc. but did not receive  one today either at noon or since.  Luckily it was only a test – but now, if the message did go out today –  how do we know if and  when the system is working  -or not working if not consistent?

    • WSB July 25, 2020 (5:08 pm)

      Were you in the immediate vicinity of the bridge?

  • AB83 July 25, 2020 (6:23 pm)

    I work on Harbor Island and my coworker was working today he said he didn’t receive any alert or message

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