Nationwide Test of Emergency Alert System Scheduled for October 3
Posted: September 19, 2018
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will be conducting a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on October 3, 2018.
The tests will commence at 2:18 p.m. EDT. The tests will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of any national emergency message. The public should expect notifications via TV, radio and cell phone. The WEA test message will be sent to cell phones that are connected to wireless providers participating in WEA.
The EAS is a national public warning system that provides the president with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency.
The EAS message will include a reference to the WEA test:
“THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not. No action is required.”
The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones. The national test will use the same special tone and vibration as with all WEA messages (i.e. tornado warning, AMBER Alert). Users cannot opt out of the WEA test.
The WEA test message will have a header that reads “Presidential Alert” and text that says:
“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”