Expect your mobile phones to go off and send an alert on Wednesday, as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a national test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).
The Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) is FEMA’s national system for local alerting that provides authenticated emergency and life-saving information to the public through mobile phones using Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), to radio and television via the Emergency Alert System (EAS), and on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Weather Radio.
Expect the test to be sent at approximately 1:20 p.m. Central time Wednesday afternoon. Wireless providers will transmit the national test for 30 minutes, but your phone should only receive it once.
If your mobile phone is on and within range of an active cell tower from a participating wireless provider, you should receive the national test.
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 national test will help ensure the alerts continue to be effective ways to warn the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level.
All major U.S. wireless providers participate in Wireless Emergency Alerts and will transmit the national test to their subscribers. Broadcast radio and television stations will also be participating in the test.
Find out more on the IPAWS National Test page of the FEMA website.