Though the WEA/CMAS alert may look somewhat like a text (SMS) message, they are not technically a text message. There are unique features of each message type. WEA/CMAS can be sent very quickly to a large number of recipients, while delivery of true text messages can be impacted by heavy use of the wireless signals in an area. SMS alerts can contain more information - up to 160 characters - while CMAS alerts are limited to 90 characters.
WVVA offers a text alert service to our community using SMS text messaging. The chart found below gives a quick-glance checklist of some of the key differences in the type of alerts offered by each service. In the case of the most severe alerts, receiving this critical information from multiple sources can be helpful, and may offer additional access to information if one system were to fail. These alerts, in combination with local alert sirens, the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and other local communication tools help to keep the community safe and informed during a time of crisis.
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