Emergency Alert Test Scheduled for Wednesday, October 4 at 2:20PM
According to a press release issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System will take place on October 4, 2023 at 2:20 PM.
The national test will consist of two stages, testing both Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and the Emergency Alert System (EAS).
The WEA portion of the test will be directed to all consumer cell phones. This will be the third nationwide test, but the second test to all cellular devices. The test message will display in either English or in Spanish, depending on the language settings of the wireless handset. The EAS portion of the test will be sent to radios and televisions. This will be the seventh nationwide EAS test.
The purpose of the test is to ensure that the systems continue to be an effective means of warning the public about emergencies on a national level.
What to Expect from the WEA test
All wireless phones should receive the message only once. To help ensure that these alerts are accessible to the entire public, including people with disabilities, the alerts are accompanied by a unique tone and vibration. The following can be expected from the nationwide WEA test:
- Beginning at approximately 2:20 p.m. ET, cell towers will broadcast the test for approximately 30 minutes. During this time, WEA-compatible wireless phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates in WEA, should be capable of receiving the test message.
- For consumers, the message that appears on their phones will read: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
- Phones with the main menu set to Spanish will display: “ESTA ES UNA PRUEBA del Sistema Nacional de Alerta de Emergencia. No se necesita acción.”
What to expect from the EAS test:
- The EAS portion of the test is scheduled to last approximately one minute and will be conducted with the participation of radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers and wireline video providers.
- The test message will be similar to the regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar. It will state: “This is a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, covering the United States from 14:20 to 14:50 hours ET. This is only a test. No action is required by the public.
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