Thursday, May 2, 2019

The City and County of Denver to Test its Public Alert and Warning Systems

Denver Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) Partners,

Please review the below announcement concerning the upcoming test of Denver’s public alert and warning systems happening on May 8.

As a reminder, please plan to attend the Denver LEPC meeting on May 21 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at Colorado Salt Products (3910 Joliet St., Denver) , and if you have not already registered, please click here.

The City and County of Denver to Test its Public Alert and Warning Systems

DENVER ­– On Wednesday, May 8th, between 11:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., the City and County of Denver will conduct a test of its Public Alert and Warning Systems. These systems allow government and public safety officials to send critical warning and information to residents, businesses, and visitors during an emergency. The test will consist of sending a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) message and a test of the Outdoor Warning Siren System. This is the first time that Denver is testing these systems simultaneously.

The WEA system sends important information to an individual’s cell phone or other mobile devices during an emergency. The system is very efficient at providing timely warning messages for life threatening emergencies.

The May 8th test by the City and County of Denver is expected to reach approximately one million residents and visitors in the test area. The test area will include the entire City and County of Denver, including Denver International Airport. Due to the nature of the system, residents and businesses in neighboring counties may also get the test message. The May 8th test message will read: “This is a test of the Public Alert and Warning Systems for Denver. This is a test”.

When the alert is received on the user’s mobile device, it will trigger a loud noise and cause the device to vibrate.  Both the full audio signal and vibration will be repeated twice while displaying the text-like message on the cell phone’s display. While most newer phones are WEA-enabled, older phones might not be. The public does not need to sign up or register for WEA and there is no fee for this emergency service. 

The Outdoor Warning Siren System test will consist of sounding all of the City’s outdoor warning sirens for a full three minutes. This test is conducted annually in advance of tornado season.

As a reminder, if you hear outdoor warning sirens at any other time, look for shelter immediately and seek additional information from local media for further instruction. The best places to shelter during a tornado are indoors, in a basement or interior room, and away from windows.

If a real-world situation coincides with the planned WEA and Outdoor Warning Siren System test on Wednesday, May 8th, then the backup test date is Thursday, May 16th, between 11:00 am and 11:30 am. 

The Denver Office of Emergency Management has more information about the WEA system and the outdoor warning siren system available on its website at