Don’t Worry: Upcoming Nationwide Emergency Alert Test on Oct. 4
Next month, you might receive an emergency message on your phones, TVs, and radios, but there’s no need to panic. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are teaming up to test their nationwide alert systems on October 4.
They will be testing two systems: Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) for phones and the Emergency Alert System (EAS) for TVs and radios. This is the seventh nationwide EAS test and the second one to include all cell phones in the US.
What You Should Know About the Emergency Alert Test
On Wednesday, October 4, at approximately 2:20 p.m. ET/11:20 a.m. PT, cell towers across the country will start broadcasting the emergency alert for 30 minutes. If your phone is within range of a cell tower, you’ll receive a message that says: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
The emergency alerts will be sent in either English or Spanish, depending on your phone’s language settings. To make sure everyone can understand them, the phone alerts will also include a unique sound and vibration.
For TVs and radios, the alert will last for 1 minute and will say: “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 there is severe weather or another significant event on October 4, the test will be postponed until October 11. So, stay informed and don’t be alarmed when you receive these emergency messages. It’s all part of keeping you safe and informed in case of real emergencies.