Be Alert and Stay Informed

Published on September 21, 2018

WatchDesk-6-2-e1537798525125.jpg In an emergency, information is critical. But it has to be fast and it has to be accurate. Arlington Alert can bring you the information you need when you need it―and deliver it based on the way you communicate. When an emergency occurs, the County will notify you with updates, instructions on where to go, what to do (or what not to do), who to contact, and other important information.

September is National Preparedness Month, which makes it the perfect time to sign up.
How It Works

With Arlington Alert, you can choose how to be notified―text messages; email; phone calls to your cell, home, or work; and  push notifications are all available.

Don't want to get alerts when you're trying to sleep? Want to mute alerts during your workday? There is a "do not disturb' feature you can set for specific hours.

Arlington Alert is a free service, open to all County residents, commuters and visitors. Be aware there may be charges from your wireless carrier for text messages.
What It Is

Besides emergency notifications, Arlington Alert focuses on five alert areas: Weather, traffic, transit, county government closures and 9-1-1 system issues.

Weather alerts will be sent when issued by the National Weather Service. You can add up to five addresses in your profile. Then simply choose the type of weather events you want information about (e.g., snow, flood), and you'll be alerted based on your addresses.

Arlington Alert will let you know of significant road closures―30 minutes or longer―in the County, as well as full Metro station closures or major transit delays resulting from an incident. You'll also be alerted when there is a County government closures or any 9-1-1 system issues.
What It Isn't

There are alerts you may receive on your cell phone that are not part of Arlington Alert.

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), which are managed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), are short messages sent during critical situations to cell phones in a geo-targeted area. You do not sign up for these alerts or download any app. There are three WEA types:

  • Imminent threats to safety or life sent by state and local public safety officials, including extreme weather alerts for tornados, flash floods, and hurricanes that are issued by the National Weather Service

  • AMBER alerts for serious child abduction cases issued by The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Virginia State Police

  • Presidential alerts during a national emergency

For more information, go to or read the FAQs.