People Reporting FEMA IPAWS Sending Out Large Number of Emergency Alerts

We are receiving hundreds of reports from people throughout the country who are saying their phones are freezing up, some after receiving over 20 FEMA IPAWS Emergency Alerts on their phones.

Back in September, FEMA conducted a nationwide test of their EAS Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS), but that test was announced well ahead of time and did not include the IPAWS WEA integrations that allows these types of messages to be delivered to smartphone devices. Today’s message was not announced by FEMA, so it was either a technical glitch or the system may have been hacked like back in September – then again FEMA just might need to get their shit together!

Most of the reports say the message reads:

“TEST:IPAWSTester- Area Emergency Test #1” Integrated Public Alert Warning System

IPAWSTESTER Message

A number of law enforcement agencies and 911 call centers have been inundated with calls from panicked people who have no idea what these messages mean. The fact that these emergency response agencies are puzzled by the messages suggests that this was not a regularly scheduled test since they would have been informed.

Others have taken to Twitter, trying to figure out how to disable the alerts and stop their phones from freezing up, something that would be a problem during an actual emergency. We are all for being able to alert people during times of crisis, but someone over at FEMA really needs to figure this system out!

What is FEMA IPAWS?

FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) is an internet-based capability Federal, State, territorial, tribal, and local authorities can use to issue critical public alerts and warnings.

According to FEMA, IPAWS was built to ensure that under all conditions the President of the United States can alert and warn the American people.  IPAWS allows alerting authorities to deliver alerts simultaneously through multiple communications devices reaching as many people as possible. These communication pathways include Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) that send messages directly to smartphones, even when cellular networks are overloaded and can no longer support person-to-person calls, texts, or emails.

143 Comments

  1. Off Grid Survival
    November 7, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    From the reports I’m seeing it looks like a vast majority of these are coming from US Cellular customers.

    • Kk
      November 7, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      Us cellular. Ive gotten 20 plus reports today. Since 10am
      Lamar oklahoma

      • Rhonda Anderson
        November 7, 2016 at 2:07 pm

        Mine started 2 hours ago and I’ve had 12 now! I’m in Indianola,Iowa

        • chris Dove
          November 7, 2016 at 5:26 pm

          Windsor heights Iowa here. I’ve had 10 today.

      • Ky
        November 7, 2016 at 2:19 pm

        I’m us cellular 3 some 1pm

      • ky
        November 7, 2016 at 2:20 pm

        Southwest in Hollis Oklahoma us cellular 3 since 1pm

    • Jennifer
      November 7, 2016 at 1:34 pm

      Nope I have Verizon and am in Southern Missouri

    • Buddy Dylan
      November 7, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      Me too here in Tulsa…all afternoon!

    • Getting many Ipaews emergency reports..what is up

    • Kate
      November 7, 2016 at 1:50 pm

      I have had like 7 n i have us cellular as well..im in maine

    • Buddy Dylan
      November 7, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      Me too here in Tulsa…all afternoon! With all the earthquake hoopla around here, we’re a little skittish!

    • Kellykm
      November 7, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      I’ve been getting them all morning. I’m in omaha,ne & I am a us cellular customer

    • Darren Miller
      November 7, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      Yep mine to, it best stop before I go to bed

    • Sandi
      November 7, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      Im in Il and have gotten 7 so far

    • Shane
      November 7, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      I’ve been getting these constantly. 18 so far today

    • Bev Mooney
      November 7, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      So do you just delete them or what?

      • mag stcyr
        November 7, 2016 at 4:43 pm

        yes just delete these it is a glitch coming from FEMA they are working to correct the problem

        • Holly
          November 7, 2016 at 9:32 pm

          They stated above..this is not a glitch

    • Victoria Mulligan
      November 7, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      Yes I have us cellular I live in northern illinois my phone has been going off all day! Sick of it!

    • William Baker
      November 7, 2016 at 2:30 pm

      I’ve gotten them all afternoon to I’m tired of them

    • Tracy Chicks
      November 7, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      us cellular in silverlake wa ….. 7 alerts in last couple of hours

      • KFreman
        November 7, 2016 at 6:21 pm

        4 received today in Appleton, Washington
        Verizon is my carrier

    • Malakie
      November 7, 2016 at 3:05 pm

      US Cellular in Wisconsin.. Not a single one at all… weird.. nothing for us here.

      • Amanda
        November 7, 2016 at 3:10 pm

        Us cellular in Wisconsin and mine has went off all day. Maybe you don’t have your alerts turned on. I had to shut mine off.

        • Amber
          November 7, 2016 at 3:21 pm

          I have US Cellular, I’m in Wisconsin, and I’ve only gotten one. it went off during class.

          • Rox
            November 9, 2016 at 10:34 am

            In WI had 1 couple days ago. US cellular service.

        • Lori
          November 8, 2016 at 6:23 pm

          Verizon Wisconsin, 1 alert and it disappeared as soon as i tried to view. A guy at work his went off at 1pm, mine went off at 3:30 pm. only once.

      • Karla
        November 7, 2016 at 4:38 pm

        Us cellular in Wisconsin, got 3

      • Shawn Stephens
        November 8, 2016 at 12:13 am

        I have them all day in Wisconsin? Hmmm

    • Meghan Louise
      November 7, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      I’m getting them since 12 pm CST here in Illinois also a US Cellular customer

    • Stacy Lally
      November 7, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      Here in Preston County Wv

      • G. Stemple
        November 7, 2016 at 5:23 pm

        US Cellular, Grant County WV, 2:21 PM, Nov 7 2016.

        • Faith Kittle
          November 7, 2016 at 6:23 pm

          US Cellular, Flemington WV one time around 2:30pm

    • Susie Brown
      November 7, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      I am US Cellular as well……Tennessee and both my husband and I have gotten three each today

    • Rhonda
      November 7, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      I have received three of these things….I’m in Tennessee/US Cellular

    • Rosanne
      November 7, 2016 at 4:48 pm

      My husband and I’ve gotten several today too. We’re with US Cellular in Washington state

    • Rachel
      November 7, 2016 at 5:36 pm

      They claim it was a software update.

    • Sandra V.
      November 7, 2016 at 5:54 pm

      I’m in Wisconsin and have US Cellular. I got 14 texts this afternoon. My husband got one and my son two. Extremely annoying!

    • April
      November 7, 2016 at 6:32 pm

      North Carolina 1 alert today

    • Bryan Hummel
      November 7, 2016 at 6:56 pm

      Us Cellular 1 today

    • Laura Moore
      November 8, 2016 at 5:41 am

      I have us cellular. I’m in eureka california. I had 4 yesterday afternoon.

  2. Jennifer Brown
    November 7, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    I too am a US Cellular user and have now received 5 alerts. I live in Boscobel, Wisconsin.

  3. Sb
    November 7, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    got about 20 of them , I have a Madison phone number

  4. Su
    November 7, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    I live in Roanoke VA and I have received these alerts every ten minutes. tried power off and back on but still receiving these alerts

  5. Malakie
    November 7, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Have to wonder.. are they getting ready for something tomorrow with the election?

    • Cheri
      November 7, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      I thought the same thing. They should have more integrity with these “warning” texts.

    • Tony
      November 7, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      I feel as though that may be what is happening. Trying to scare the voters. I’m in Virginia too a small town called Galax. I have been getting these alerts every 3 minutes starting around 2 o’clock

    • Shawn Stephens
      November 8, 2016 at 12:16 am

      That’s what I was wondering

  6. Cheri
    November 7, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    I live in Illinois and have US Cellular. I have received approximately 18 messages~~one about every 10 minutes. Please divulge how to disable these messages. My phone is freezing up. Very disturbing. Nobody will believe these texts in the event of a real warning because of crying “fox”.

    • Sandy
      November 7, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      If you have an iPhone go to Settings, Then Notifications. Scroll to the bottom of the list to Government Alerts. You should see Amber Alerts and Emergency Alerts.

    • Patrick Smolinski
      November 7, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      Ahhhhh, wolf?????

    • Sherry
      November 7, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      You’re exactly right. We should have been pre-warned and received no more than 2 or 3 !!!

  7. Stacey Luedtke
    November 7, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Getting messages every 10 minutes as well. REALLY ANNOYING! I Hope this isn’t going to go on all night. I also use US Cellular in Waupaca WI.

    • Nicci
      November 7, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      I also go to us cellular in waupaca. Is there a way to stop the texts?

      • Off Grid Survival
        November 7, 2016 at 1:36 pm

        You can disable Everything but the Presidential alerts by going to Messages>Settings>Emergency Alerts on your phone.

        • joe
          November 7, 2016 at 2:23 pm

          Thanks!

  8. Barbara white
    November 7, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    I have recieved 15 or 20 in just a few hours

  9. w hodgdon
    November 7, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    NH, Sprint, got the same message. irritating, can’t stop.

  10. Jefg
    November 7, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Getting them every 10 mins. Got one typing this. We must have been hacked

    • Bev Mooney
      November 7, 2016 at 2:02 pm

      I live in redwood Valley calif and getting alerts constantly!!! What the bleep is this?

      • Lori
        November 8, 2016 at 12:53 am

        I’m here in Tucson Arizona and I haven’t gotten that one message since this whole thing started so I don’t know if something started for you guys or and it’s not for us or we’re just not going to be included I don’t know but I do think it has something to do with this whole campaign they have set it up this way

  11. Linda
    November 7, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    In iowa city iowa, not sure why this is only occurring on some phones not others..I’ve received 10 so far…hope to hell if it is an actual alert that we ALL would be warned!

  12. Nicole
    November 7, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    I have received these alerts. Four of them today in Hermiston, Oregon.
    I have US Cellular as a provider.

    • Sharyce Bracewell
      November 9, 2016 at 10:00 am

      Grants pass oregon here I have us cellular and got 5 ranging from 11:21 – 1:41pm

  13. AJDAZI
    November 7, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    HOW TO STOP THOSE MESSAGES. OPEN MESSAGES ON YOUR PHONE, CHOOSE SETTINGS, EMERGENCY ALERTS AND TURN OFF. I TOO HAVE GOTTEN MORE THAN 10 OF THOSE MESSAGES AND WHEN I DID THE STEPS ABOVE THE MESSAGES HAVE STOPPED

    • Heather
      November 7, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      I tried to turn them off through settings with no luck. I’m us cellular in CJ Oregon…it’s absurd every 11 minutes and sometimes 13 minutes apart

      • NT
        November 7, 2016 at 1:48 pm

        Got to MESSAGES – MORE – SETTINGS – EMERGENCY ALERT SETTINGS

        You have to go through MESSAGES (icon on screen), not Settings.

  14. Steven lumpkin
    November 7, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    I have had three since around 12. I live in Tennessee and also have us cellular

    • carol
      November 7, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      I am in TN and have had three that I heard. I am a U.S. Cellular customer also. First one around 2:15 last one at 4:44 p. M. Very annoying.

  15. Lisa
    November 7, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Live in. Crossville tn ,getting them every 15 to 10 min very annoying trying to sleep !!!!

  16. ALS
    November 7, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Maine – US Cellular customer….. Only two so far…..

  17. just another guy
    November 7, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    I had one but that was it in pender county north Carolina

  18. Ellen Muller
    November 7, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    My phone is going crazy with these alerts! It is even over heating. How do I disable them?

  19. Hunter schalk
    November 7, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    I live in randomlake wi an have received one about every ten to fifteen minutes. I too am using a us cellular plan. Their seems to be nothing of any interest(including the genocide of worms due to tillage of soil this time of year) of any interest. In the minute on me writing this, I have received another one.

  20. Jim
    November 7, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    I was getting one every 5 minutes for over an hour. About drove me crazy until I figured out how to silence the tone. US Cellular – Oklahoma

  21. stephanie kawula
    November 7, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Us cellular suamico Wisconsin, about 6 in the last hour

  22. John
    November 7, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    live in Cedar Rapids-Ia, US Cellular customer and have received 3 of these in the last hour

  23. Mary coenen
    November 7, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Have had 3, u s cellular, Appleton WI.

  24. Lori
    November 7, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Verizon – Illinois – only one (so far)

  25. Donna
    November 7, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    I have received several alerts as well as my friend, who was visiting at the time. We both have US Cellular phones and we are located in the Roan Mountain Area, in North Carolina. This area borders the Tennessee state line. My daughter has Verizon and received a couple of alerts but was not inundated like we were.

  26. Caryn
    November 7, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Me too. US Cellular. Milwaukee, WI

  27. Emily
    November 7, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Kenosha-WI Sprint

  28. PD
    November 7, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    Fond du Lac, Wi. – received 2, two hrs.apart.

  29. Kari Kelley
    November 7, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    To cancel these for IPhone go to
    Settings
    Notifications
    (go all the way to the bottom)
    AMBER Alerts
    Emergency Alerts

  30. Jeremiah M.
    November 7, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Had one today. Appleton, WI.
    Google Project Fi

  31. Patrick
    November 7, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    They are getting ready for tomorrow if the election does not go their way.

    • Victoria Mulligan
      November 7, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      I believe you 100%

  32. Jason
    November 7, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    I keep getting these texts, wth is going on, I’m getting frustrated

  33. Tina Chappell
    November 7, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Me too. US Cellular. Virginia

  34. Jp Dingman
    November 7, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    us cellular in Iowa. Over 20 alerts since about noon.

  35. Kristy
    November 7, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    ya got a couple of these today already.

  36. fima sucksballs
    November 7, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    located in east bumfuck maine by the coast and lobster pot bait stinking maineahs and getting these alerts every 10 minutes. fima go fuckyourselves.

  37. CD
    November 7, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    I’ve gotten 3 this afternoon in Milwaukee. I’m a US Cellular customer.

  38. John Macany
    November 7, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    I’ve been receiving them since 1:22pm central time. New appears every 15 minutes.

  39. Angela Morgan
    November 7, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    I’ve gotten up to 17 alerts now and it’s frustrating- US CELLULAR

  40. Nathan
    November 7, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Several on us cellular in mid Iowa are getting them as well.

  41. Michelle
    November 7, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    I got several of these alerts today between 2:30-330pm. Love in NH & US Cellular phone. Freaked me out.

  42. Sam
    November 7, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Madison WI. Received 9 in the past two hours. Also US Cellular.

  43. Cindy Blank
    November 7, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    This stared at 1:45 every 6 to 10 minutes how to stop this I have US Cellular rockford Il it’s driving me nuts

  44. Patrick Smolinski
    November 7, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Well over 25 now since around noon Green Bay Wisconsin u.s. cellular.

  45. ANP
    November 7, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    In October the mass internet outages came from devices connected to the Internet that had been turned into “bots” for lack of a better word, to conduct DDoS attacks… in other words they used our own technology against us to shut down the Internet….. ANYONE receiving the FEMA emergency alerts should disconnect any and all devices they are not actively using and monitoring, from the internet.

    This is happening to a LOT of people!!!

  46. Ashley Rose Johnson
    November 7, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    For the last hour I have been getting the same report and I am in Oregon for ipaws area emergency alert and its really starting to annoy me and I am a person with disabilities and I think more people complain maybe their systems need to be shut down for good

  47. Patrick Smolinski
    November 7, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Oh, and my services are “shut off!!!”. Just now AGAIN!

  48. JP
    November 7, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    I’ve gotten 3 so far. Also a US Cellular customer, not sure if that matters. I’ve turned of my emergency alert message notifications and so far I haven’t gotten anymore messages.

  49. Noah
    November 7, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    I’m in Midcoast, Maine. Carrier is US Cellular and I’ve gotten about 25-30 in the past hour or so

  50. Sprint User
    November 7, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    It’s not just US Cellular, It’s also happening on Sprint Phones.

  51. brooke
    November 7, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    oregon

  52. Linda Hawkins
    November 7, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    These darn alerts are driving me crazy and I can’t turn them off getting them every 15 minutes or so, what’s up here?

  53. Me
    November 7, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    I have received 25 Ipaws alerts in the last hour. I have US Cellular and am in North Carolina!!!!

  54. Mitchell Mercer
    November 7, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    I am a US Cellular customer in Oklahoma City, OK and have been getting these alerts all day. (No Sim in my phone nor am I connected to a WiFi network) kinda strange

  55. JT
    November 7, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Experiencing this as well. Sheboygan, WI.
    To turn off the alert system for my galaxy s5: Settings-Messages-Emergency Alerts. Uncheck the types of alerts and sounds. It will not allow you to uncheck presidential alerts.

    • Patrick
      November 7, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      Thank You. After going to settings I did have to also click on search and type in messages then I was able to go to message applications and emergency alert settings and turn them off.

  56. Waynbe
    November 7, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    US cellular in Tennessee and I’ve gotten about 15+ since Abount 2:00 EST- very annoying..

  57. Brandy Barrett
    November 7, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    Every 10 minutes since 1430.. Us cellular
    Christiansburg va

  58. Belinda
    November 7, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Brewer Maine People here included me getting them I have US Cellular

  59. Cheryl S.
    November 7, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    I’m in central Iowa and I use USCELLUAR. In 3+ hours, I’ve received 30+ IPAWS test messages.

  60. Johann
    November 7, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Verizon, western Maine. We got this same “test” at about 4:45 pm.

  61. Victoria Mulligan
    November 7, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    I really believe this has to do with the election tomorrow. They know it’s rigged and a lot of people are going to go nuts! So they are getting ready for the big event. But there’s a solution, bend over and kiss your ass goodbye!

  62. JAS
    November 7, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Florida Straight Talk phone running on Verizon and have had no alerts. I did get the original alert back when ever it was this year.

  63. Dt
    November 7, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Up here in maine have recieved atleast 6 ipaws alerts!

  64. Angela
    November 7, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Mine started at 1:21 pm and went off every 5 minutes until 4:11 pm when I finally figured out how to turn off notifications. I too, am a US Cellular customer.

  65. david
    November 7, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    David in va. Only one received at 1436 .

  66. Kimberli
    November 7, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Eastern Iowa Verizon customer – just got one so far.

  67. SEB
    November 7, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    I’m a t-mobile cellular customer in Michigan and haven’t gotten anything.

  68. moman
    November 7, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    metroPCS, got NONE guess that’s a good thing ATM.

    • Barbara
      November 8, 2016 at 8:18 pm

      Barbara here from Loveland, Colorado. Metro PCS user….I have been receiving since 3pm today and phone is froze. Definitely has to be related to the election… I would almost bet that Trump is behind this…so his people could go in and hack the total electoral counts. He’s a snake for sure. Scary shit happening …

  69. Judy
    November 7, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    I’ve been getting those alerts all day. About 17 so far. Here in iowa…us cellular

  70. Sandra Schrider
    November 7, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Me and my husband both got them. How do we stop them

  71. Rod
    November 7, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    I spoke with the FEMA IPAWS office about this today. It was a cell companies R&D lab that was doing a number of tests with their closed system. Problem was that somehow it got connected to the network that sends the messages over the air. It has happened before, just not on a national scale.

  72. Peggy
    November 7, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    got one this afternoon didn’t know what it was so deleted it a little later my husband called to see if I got an alert I said yes but deleted since I didn’t know what it was. He had looked up and said it was a government alert of sorts. No one else at his office got any. We are US Cellular customers in Oklahoma.

  73. Ann Marie Baumann
    November 7, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    I received these alerts at 2:06, 2:36, and 4:06 p.m. There were some that I already deleted and they all came to Dubuque, IA~~~yes US CELLULAR carrier ~~~ from around noon on, I think 6 total.

  74. Kim
    November 7, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Verizon and have not gotten any…. Apparently I am screwed if there is a real emergency

  75. We have been receiving the alerts since early afternoon. Berkeley Springs, WV.

  76. Heather Baker
    November 7, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Started about 1:15pm and went off every 5-10 min for 2 hrs, until I went into my msging app and shut the alerts off. Very annoying. Central Illinois

    • Heather Baker
      November 7, 2016 at 6:42 pm

      Us cell

  77. Marilyn
    November 7, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    I am a US Cellular customerin Northern Illinois. I received one alert on my active phone and I also received an alert on my inactive phone. I thought my phone was hacked.

  78. David
    November 7, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Some of the fema hf radio frequencies have been more active than usual, sending criptic and Un criptic test messages by data mode

  79. Amy
    November 7, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    I received 34 . US Cellular Waynesville, NC

  80. Amy
    November 7, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    34 times since 2:00PM today. Waynesville, NC

  81. Nolan
    November 8, 2016 at 3:27 am

    I had several of them yesterday and I’m in central wv

  82. Hillary For Prison
    November 8, 2016 at 4:38 am

    I rcvd 1, my friend rcvd 1 about 2 hours prior to mine. My husband rcvd 0, my work phone rcvd 0. All Verizon in Northwest Iowa.

  83. Sherry Keating
    November 8, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Is this something we sign up for, or is it just automatic with a smart phone? My carrier is Verizon and im in Delaware.

  84. Diane Simonson
    November 9, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Still getting them. 3 today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*