On Wednesday October 3rd the Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with other federal agencies will conduct a nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system. This will be the first nationwide test of a Presidential-level WEA message and cannot be opted out.
The test will assess the nations readiness to distribute an emergency message nationwide and determine whether improvements are needed.
At 1:18 central time, WEA-compatible phones (most modern cell phones) that are switched on and in range of a cell tower will receive the test message. The message will be titled “Presidential Alert” and will read: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed” In addition to the displayed message, a loud tone and vibration will occur, the same tone that happens during a tornado warning or amber alert.
For more information, please visit FEMAs FAQ site: https://www.fema.gov/emergency-alert-test
Following the test of the Wireless Emergency Alert System will be a test of the broadcast Emergency Alert System, which will interrupt regular programming on broadcast radio and television stations across the country at 1:20 central time.
The EAS is a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency. The test is made available to EAS participants (i.e., radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers) and is scheduled to last approximately one minute. The test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar. The EAS message will include a reference to the WEA test:
“THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not. No action is required.”