Happening Today: Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System

news image
Special Stories
4 Oct 2023 6:10 PM

Happening Wednesday, October 4th at 2:20 PM ET, FEMA will be conducting a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). Test messages will be sent to all cell phones with emergency alerts enabled, TVs and radios. The test is broken down into two parts:

PART 1: Emergency Alert System (EAS)

Test messages are sent to radios and televisions. From FEMA:

  • 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.

PART 2: Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)

These are sent to cell phones only. The test will display in English or Spanish, depending on the user language settings. The following is from FEMA:

All wireless phones should receive the message only once. 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.”

The test sections will happen at the same time, so if you are listening to the radio and have your cell phone expect to hear both messages. According to FEMA, "The purpose of the Oct. 4 test is to ensure that the systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level."

In case of widespread severe weather or events, the backup/postponement day will be for October 11th.

All Weather News
More
Typhoon Gaemi Displays Unusual Spin Over Taiwan

Typhoon Gaemi Displays Unusual Spin Over Taiwan

Typhoon Gaemi (Kemi) is impacting Tawain this

24 Jul 2024 9:40 PM
Non-Stop Heat on the West Coast

Non-Stop Heat on the West Coast

A stagnant ridge of high pressure has led to

24 Jul 2024 9:35 PM
Millions Under Severe Storm Threat in the Northeast, Great Lakes

Millions Under Severe Storm Threat in the Northeast, Great Lakes

Two surface fronts will influence the rainy f

24 Jul 2024 9:30 PM
Saharan Dust Reaching the Southern U.S.

Saharan Dust Reaching the Southern U.S.

Conditions are quiet in the tropical Atlantic

24 Jul 2024 9:20 PM
Tropical Storm Bud Forms in the Eastern Pacific

Tropical Storm Bud Forms in the Eastern Pacific

Tropical Storm Bud formed in the Eastern Paci

24 Jul 2024 9:10 PM
Wildfire Smoke impacting Air Quality Across the West, Central U.S.

Wildfire Smoke impacting Air Quality Across the West, Central U.S.

Smoke from large wildfires burning in the nor

24 Jul 2024 6:40 PM
Arizona Expecting Severe Storms Today

Arizona Expecting Severe Storms Today

Stormy afternoons remain in the forecast acro

24 Jul 2024 6:30 PM