Posted on September 17, 2023
FEMA and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) at approximately 2:20 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Oct. 4. The national test will consist of two portions, testing WEA and EAS capabilities. The WEA portion of the test will be directed to all consumer cell phones. 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.
The purpose of the Oct. 4 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 following can be expected from the nationwide WEA test:
- Beginning at approximately 2:20 p.m. ET, 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.
- 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.”