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FEMA and FCC Plan Nationwide Emergency Alert Test Sending Messages to all TVs, Radios and Cell Phones | Wednesday, October 4, 2023

FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) this fall. The national test will consist of two portions, testing WEA and EAS capabilities. Both tests are scheduled to begin at approximately 2:20 p.m. ET on Wednesday, October 4, 2023.

 

 

FEMA and FCC Plan Nationwide Emergency Alert Test Sending Messages to all TVs, Radios and Cell Phones | Wednesday, October 4, 2023

 

 

FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) this fall. The national test will consist of two portions, testing WEA and EAS capabilities. Both tests are scheduled to begin at approximately 2:20 p.m. ET on Wednesday, October 4, 2023.

 

 

On Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 2:20 p.m. EDT, every TV, radio and cellphone in the United States should blare out the distinctive, jarring electronic warning tone of an emergency alert.

It's a test – only a test.

Officially, the trial is called the Nationwide Emergency Alert Test. You know it's a test and not an actual emergency because it's accompanied by an explanation of the test.

 

What is the emergency alert test? How does it work?

The national test consists of two parts, which occur in conjunction with one another, in order to test the Emergency Alert System and the Wireless Emergency Alerts, according to FEMA.

The WEA will be directed to all cellphones, while the EAS will notify all radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers and wireline video providers.

 

What will the emergency alert test message say?

All across the United States, broadcast TV shows and radio will be interrupted as the emergency message goes out. That message will say:

“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."

Cellphones will get the warning as a tone, a vibration and as a text message:

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

 

The only ways to avoid your phone ringing from FEMA's alert if you're not in the middle of a call is to power it off or switch it into airplane mode before the alert rolls out. Switching your phone to silent mode will not stop you from receiving the alert.

If you're in class, a meeting, or another space you don't want to disrupt, you should switch it off from at least 2 p.m. ET to 3 p.m. ET. Otherwise, it will ring with FEMA's alert.

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