emergency preparedness, Government, News

FEMA, FCC to test national emergency alert system Wednesday

On Wednesday October 4, cell phones, televisions sets, and radios will chime with an alert designed to test the nation’s alert system for widespread emergencies.

According to a press release issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the test, the second such nationwide test, will be done in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Starting around 11:20 a.m. Pacific Time, cell phones, TVs, and radios will receive an alert. It could be up to 30 minutes before everyone gets it, according to FEMA, based on proximity to cell towers and other factors.

For cell users, the message “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed,” will arrive on their screen, or the Spanish-language equivalent depending on your phone’s language settings.

On TV and radio, the message will read “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.”

You can find all the details in a fairly technical press release containing no less than six initialisms and acronyms.

Should significant weather or other issues arise, a backup date of October 11 is also in place.

To sign up for local alerts, visit www.publicalerts.org.

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