Do Not be Alarmed! Vail to Test Wireless Emergency Alert Notification System on Wednesday May 2nd

Steven Agar | | Industry NewsIndustry News
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This map from the Public Safety Communications Center outlines the areas of town that will be affected by Wireless Emergy Alert and a broadcast system test next Wednesday, May 2. Credit: Vail Daily

Residents and visitors of Vail, Colorado do not be alarmed! The Vail Public Safety Communications Center is asking for your help Wednesday as it prepares to test two emergency warning notification systems, reports Vail Daily.

The Wireless Emergency Alert notification is a federal system that allows local agencies to send alerts to cell phones in the area, even if they haven’t subscribed to the local EC Alert notification system. In addition to testing the Wireless Alert system, public safety officials will be evaluating a backup siren system for emergency notification.

Emergency management officials plan to initiate the local wireless alert test at 12:30 pm Wednesday, May 2, within Vail’s boundaries. This is the same notification in which Amber Alerts are sent to disseminate information about a missing person. During the test, anyone with a cellphone within Vail, that includes residents, employees, visitors, and travelers on Interstate 70 between mile markers 172 and 182, should expect to receive the alert.

The message will read “EC EMO: TEST emergency message. Go to to provide feedback. No other action needed.” Variable message signs on I-70 will be used to alert travelers of the local test.

In the event of a real emergency, the test will be postponed to another date.
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Lionshead village, Vail, from the gondola. Credit: ski-epic

Recipients of the test alert will be asked to assist the 911 call center by completing a short survey that will be included in the test message. This includes information about when they received the message, as well as their physical location. To encourage participation, survey-takers will be entered in a prize drawing that will hand out several $100 gift cards.

Also on May 2, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm, residents of West Vail may hear test messages broadcast over a speaker system as officials evaluate the effectiveness of a long-range acoustic device that will be temporarily installed at the West Vail Fire Station. The device is a powerful, directional speaker that has the ability to be heard a quarter mile away.

The test messages may also be audible inside buildings and will last 15 seconds at a time with a pre-recorded message: “This is a test of an emergency notification system, no action is required.”

For additional information, check out the full article at Vail Daily.

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