Be prepared to receive a nationwide alert on your cell phones, televisions and radios Wednesday, Oct. 4. The alert is scheduled for 2:20 pm and it is a test of the nationwide Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts by the Federal Government (FEMA).
The purpose of this test is to ensure that these systems continue to be an effective means of warning the public about national emergencies. Cell towers will broadcast the test for approximately 30 minutes. All wireless phones should receive the message only once. People with cell phones will get a message that reads: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
To help ensure that these alerts are accessible to the entire public, including people with disabilities, they are accompanied by a unique tone and vibration. FEMA and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are coordinating with Emergency Alert System participants, wireless providers, emergency managers and other stakeholders in preparation for this national test.
The goal is to minimize confusion and maximize the public safety value of the test. The alert to be sent through radio and television broadcasters, cable systems and satellite radio is scheduled to last about one minute. 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 2:20 to 2:50 p.m. ET. This is only a test. No action is required by the public.”
If the test is postponed due to widespread severe weather or other significant events, the backup testing date is Wednesday, Oct. 11.