FEMA to conduct nationwide test of Emergency Alert System on October 3, 2018

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) on Wednesday, October 3, 2018. 

The WEA portion of the test commences at 2:18 PM EDT and the EAS portion follows at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether technological improvements are needed.

This is the fourth EAS nationwide test and the first national WEA test. The WEA test message will be sent to cell phones.

The EAS test is scheduled to last approximately one minute and is made available to EAS participants including radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers. The test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar, stating that the alert is a test and only a test and that no action is needed.

The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones. It allows customers whose wireless provider participates in WEA and who own a WEA compatible wireless phone to receive geo-targeted alerts of imminent threats to safety in their area through unique tones and vibration. The national WEA test will use the same special tone and vibration.

More information on the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System and Wireless Emergency Alerts is available at www.ready.gov/alerts.