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  • Writer's picturejeannettesutton

Two 360-character WEA's delivering 90-character content


WEAs sent 12/9/2022


In November, 2019, the FEMA-IPAWS program rolled out "WEA 2.0" which increased the message character count from 90 to 360 characters after researchers (Comprehensive Testing of Imminent Threat Public Messages for Mobile Devices) demonstrated that shorter messages lead to protective action delay, largely because they are incomplete. By increasing the character count of a WEA, alerting authorities have the ability to add details that will improve message specificity and clarity, reducing information seeking and milling behavior. Unfortunately, many WEAs today are manually constrained to the shorter message length when alerting authorities copy and paste the 90 character message into the larger text box. The examples below are each 89 characters long; they are both incomplete and could be substantially improved by adding more contents that will help the message receiver to make decisions about their actions.

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