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Nationwide emergency alert test to be held in October

Expect your cell phones to go off on Wednesday, Oct. 4 as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plan a nationwide emergency alert test that afternoon.  Radios and televisions will also be tested at about the same time.  

The test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) will consist of two portions, testing WEA and EAS capabilities. Both tests are scheduled to begin at approximately 1:20 p.m. Central time on Wednesday, Oct. 4.

The WEA portion of the test will be directed to all consumer cell phones. This will be the third nationwide test, but the second test to all cellular devices. The test message will display in either English or in Spanish, depending on the language settings of the wireless handset.

The EAS portion of the test will be sent to radios and televisions. This will be the seventh nationwide EAS test.

The purpose of the 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 the Oct. 4 test is postponed due to widespread severe weather or other significant events, the back-up testing date is Oct. 11. 

All wireless phones should receive the message only once. 

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.

CLICK HERE for more information about the nationwide test on Oct. 4.  

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