FEMA plans to test national alert system on Oct. 4
South Florida Sun Sentinel September 24, 2023
(Tribune News Service) — Get ready for an alert on your cellphones, televisions and radios on Oct. 4.
At 2:20 p.m., the federal government will test its nationwide Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts. The purpose is to ensure that the systems continue to be an effective means of warning the public about national emergencies.
Cell towers will broadcast the test for approximately 30 minutes. All wireless phones should receive the message only once.
People will cell phones will get a message that reads: “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.”
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.
FEMA and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are coordinating with Emergency Alert System participants, wireless providers, emergency managers and other stakeholders in preparation for this national test to minimize confusion and to maximize the public safety value of the test.
The alert to be sent through radio and television broadcasters, cable systems and satellite radio is scheduled to last about one minute. 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.”
If the Wednesday, Oct. 4, test is postponed due to widespread severe weather or other significant events, the back-up testing date is Wednesday, Oct. 11.
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