(KRON) — The Federal Communications Commission and FEMA will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts this fall.
The national test will consist of two portions, testing WEA and EAS capabilities. Both tests are scheduled to begin at 5:20 p.m. on Wednesday, October 4.
The WEA portion of the test will be directed to all cellphones.
The EAS portion of the test will be sent to radios and televisions.
All wireless phones will receive the message only once. The following can be expected from the nationwide WEA test:
- Beginning at 5:20 p.m., cell towers will broadcast the test for approximately 30 minutes.
- A message will appear on your phone reading, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
- Phones set to Spanish will display: “ESTA ES UNA PRUEBA del Sistema Nacional de Alerta de Emergencia. No se necesita acción.”
- The alerts will be accompanied by a loud unique tone and vibration.
The purpose of the October 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. If the October 4 test is postponed due to widespread severe weather or other significant events, the back-up testing date is October 11.
FEMA and FCC officials said they are coordinating with wireless providers and emergency managers in preparation for this national test to “minimize confusion and to maximize the public safety value of the test.”