When severe weather or other emergencies strike, the effects can be widespread and may be injury or death. That's why its important to stay up to date with emergency notifications offered by trusted, local and national authorities. In Houston, we use three different systems to notify the public. These are used based on the severity and scale of the emergency.
AlertHouston is the City's Notification System
- Messages are issued for citywide and neighborhood level emergencies.
- They are sent through email and social media (Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor)
- You must opt-in to receive these alerts.
- These alerts are issued by City of Houston OEM.
Greater Harris County 911 Emergency Notification System
9-1-1 Emergency Alerts for your Neighborhood
- Messages are issued for neighborhood level emergencies such as chemical releases, police activity, etc.
- They are sent through phone, text, and email
- If you have a traditional land-line telephone, you're already opted in. If you only use a mobile phone or digital voice service, you must opt-in to receive these alerts.
Wireless Emergency Alerts
Emergencies don't care where you are - they can happen when you're at work, school, at home, or on vacation. The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system was developed to help inform the public in a specific area of emergency situations that require them to take action quickly to avoid injury.
The City of Houston has access to WEA for very serious, life-threatening emergencies. Additionally, you may also receive notifications from Federal State Agencies, and neighboring local agencies.
The National Weather Service issues WEA messages for the following situations:
- Tsunami Warning
- Tornado Warning
- Extreme Wind warning
- Flash Flood Warning
- Hurricane Warning
- Typhoon Warning
- Blizzard Warning
- Ice Storm Warning
- Dust Storm Warning
- Child Abduction Emergencies (AMBER Alerts)*
* AMBER Alerts are issued by NWS on behalf of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) or the Houston Regional AMBER Alert Program
The City of Houston may issue a WEA warning for:
- Terrorist Activity
- Citywide Weather Emergencies
- Evacuation Orders
- Shelter-in-Place Emergencies
- Other emergencies which require action to protect life
Your phone is likely already opted-in to receive WEA messages. If you've opted out, please make sure you opt-back in. These messages could save your life.