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Stay Informed

The first step in any emergency is to stay informed. When you are aware of what is going on around you, you are better positioned to make decisions involving the safety of your family and loved ones. Should you evacuate or shelter in place? Do you need to stock up on milk and bread or plastic sheeting and duct tape? The District provides multiple resources to get the information out to residents; all you need to do is sign up or tune in.

Additional ways to stay informed

  • Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) System
    • WEA is a public safety system that allows customers who own certain wireless phones and other compatible mobile devices to receive geographically-targeted, text-like messages alerting them of imminent threats to safety in their area. WEA enables government officials to target emergency alerts to specific geographic areas.

    • On Saturday, June 22, between 11 and 11:30 a.m., the District of Columbia will be conducting a test of its Wireless Emergency Alert System test using geo-target capabilities.Cell phones or other mobile devices on or near the National Mall will receive the following message: "A test of the District of Columbia Wireless Emergency Alerts System. No action required." To learn more about the test, click here.

  • Sign up for AlertDC: Visit to sign up to receive alerts through email or text messaging/SMS on your cell phone.
  • Watch local TV news: Tune in to TV channels 13, 16, or your local news station to receive alerts and updates.
  • Listen to the radio: Tune in to local radio stations, which will broadcast official information and instructions from the District government.
  • Consider signing up for Serve DC’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteer program. When emergencies happen, CERT members can  provide critical support to first responders, immediate assistance to victims and can help organize spontaneous  volunteers at a disaster site.
  • Emergency Alert System: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is the national public warning system. Through EAS, the District can deliver important emergency information, such as AMBER alerts and weather information on local broadcast television stations, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital audio radio service providers, and direct broadcast satellite. The District can also send emergency alerts directly to cellphones using the Commercial Mobile Alert System.
  • Reverse 911: Allows emergency personnel to call telephones in specific neighborhoods to notify you of an emergency and tell you what to do to protect yourself. All landline telephones in the District are automatically signed up.
  • In order to keep you informed, HSEMA maintains a Facebook page, Twitter feed and Instagram profile. Follow us on Twitter at @DC_HSEMA for important emergency preparedness information and updates. Like our Facebook page at or follow us on Instagram at