3:45 p.m. UPDATE (KSNW) — It could be a few days before we know if an alert test worked in Wichita Monday afternoon. It was only supposed to go to cellphones in a half-mile square area northwest of Douglas and Topeka.

Jonathan Marr, deputy director of Sedgwick County Emergency Management, said it appeared to go well. Some people in the area have already reported getting the message, and, so far, it doesn’t appear there was much bleed-over outside the targeted area.

Marr said they won’t know for sure until all the survey data is analyzed. He said it is very important that people who got the alert message respond to the survey link that was in the message. That is how officials will know for sure where the text went and how fast it got there.


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Depending on where you are in Sedgwick County on Monday, Sept. 12, you may get an alert message on your phone at 3 p.m.

Sedgwick County and the City of Wichita are taking part in what they call an “unprecedented test” of the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system.

Examples of previous WEA alerts are tornado warnings and Amber Alerts. If you get the one sent out on Monday afternoon, Sedgwick County wants you to click on the link and complete a survey.

In Monday’s test, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is working with only select jurisdictions across the country to see if the message can go to a specific geo-targeted area and not to other places.

Sedgwick County plans to send the message to a half-mile square area northwest of Douglas and Topeka.

(Courtesy Google Maps)

The area starts at Douglas and Topeka, goes north to Central and Topeka, then west to Central, where it curves south in front of Water’s Edge apartments, south to Douglas and the river, then back east to Topeka.

Jonathan Marr, deputy director of Sedgwick County Emergency Management, told KSN News they are trying to measure how fast the emergency alert hits your phone, how many people receive it, and how far outside the geo-targeted area the message bleeds out to.

If you get the alert message, whether you live in or out of the targeted area, the FCC wants to know. That is why it wants you to click the link in the message and fill out the survey. The County and the City say the first question will ask for a control number, but since they will not have one, that line can be skipped.