US will conduct nationwide Emergency Alert System test Oct. 4 at 2pm

US will conduct nationwide test of Emergency Alert System across ALL cellphones, TVs and radios at 2pm on October 4th

  • The nationwide alert will take place at approximately 2:20pm on Oct. 4th and will be displayed in both English and Spanish 
  • The FCC and FEMA will conduct the test in two parts from WEA and EAS
  • The purpose of the nationwide test is to warn the public about emergencies

The United States will be conducting a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts across all wireless and electronic devices in the fall. 

The purpose of the test is to warn the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national scale, and to ensure that the systems that are in place continue to be effective.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and FEMA will carry out the test that will happen in two parts – from the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and from the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

The emergency alerts are set to take place Wednesday, October 4th around 2:20 pm, Eastern Time (ET), with a back-up test date on October 11.

FEMA said the alerts will be accompanied by a ‘unique tone and vibration.’

A test of the Emergency Alert System is coming in fall 2023

The messages will be sent through to all cellphones, radios, and televisions

An Emergency Alert stating that a missile was bound for Hawaii was sent accidentally in 2018

The Wireless Emergency Alert test will target all consumer cell phones and will display in either English or in Spanish, depending on individual language settings.

All wireless phones should receive the message only once. 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, FEMA said in a press release.

Consumers should expect that the message that appear on their phones will read: ‘THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.’

Phones that have their main menu set to Spanish will display: ‘ESTA ES UNA PRUEBA del Sistema Nacional de Alerta de Emergencia. No se necesita acción.’ 

WEA alerts are created and sent by authorized federal, state, local, tribal and territorial government agencies through IPAWS to participating wireless providers, which deliver the alerts to compatible handsets in geo-targeted areas

To help ensure that these alerts are accessible to the entire public, including people with disabilities, the alerts are accompanied by a unique tone and vibration.

The Wireless Emergency Alert test will be initiated using FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). This is a centralized internet-based system administered by FEMA that enables authorities to send authenticated emergency messages to the public through multiple communications networks. 

FEMA officials said the WEA test will be administered via a code sent to cell phones.

This year, the Emergency Alert System message will be disseminated as a Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) message via the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System-Open Platform for Emergency Networks (IPAWS-OPEN), according to the release.

Pictured: what an Emergency Alert test looks like when issued on a cell phone

Pictured: An emergency alert by USGS ShakeAlert  states what a person should do in this disaster: 'Earthquake Detected! Drop, Cover, Hold On. Protect Yourself'

The Emergency Alert System portion of the test will be sent to radios and televisions. 

According to the authorities, this will be the seventh nationwide EAS test.

This 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, according to FEMA.

The test message will be similar to the regular monthly Emergency Alert System 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.’

Earlier this month, Maui was hit with a devastating wildfire and survivors have said the island’s emergency warning system failed to alert them about the deadly infernos that have killed at least 55 people.

A growing number of residents claimed they were either not sent alerts to their cell phones, or only received warnings after they had already fled their homes as the smoke and flames approached.

Hazard sirens in Lahaina, the historic town totally destroyed by the wildfires, and other parts of Maui also didn’t sound as the blaze rapidly engulfed properties, some locals said.

Maui Mayor Richard Bissen said after the August 8 disaster that he ‘can’t comment on whether or not the sirens sounded or not’ but said the fires were an ‘impossible situation’ and ‘spread so fast,’ reported. 


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