Nationwide Wireless Emergency Alert system test today

Published 6:24 am Wednesday, October 3, 2018

As a reminder, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, will conduct a nationwide Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) today, October 3.

The test will take place in two parts: the WEA portion starting at 2:18 p.m. ET, followed by the EAS portion at 2:20 p.m. EDT.

This is the first nationwide WEA test and the fourth for the EAS. The overall test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether technological improvements are needed.

Most cell phone users nationwide will receive an alert tone on their phone and a test message that reads “This is a TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” This message is different from a text message.

Types of messages that may be received this way:
• Presidential Alerts: Meant for use in a national emergency and the only type of WEA alert that can be sent nationwide by FEMA.
• AMBER Alerts
• Extreme weather and other threatening emergencies

By law, you can opt out of general WEA messages, but not Presidential Alerts.