Nationwide emergency alert test to hit cell phones Wednesday afternoon


FILE -(AP Photo/Michael Sohn, file)

TOPEKA (KSNT) — Don’t be worried if your cell phone suddenly goes off on you Wednesday afternoon.

FEMA, along with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is conducting a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).

The national test will consist of two portions, testing WEA and EAS capabilities. Both tests will begin at 1:20 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Aug. 11.

The EAS national test is very similar to regular monthly tests typically originated by state authorities.

According to FEMA the tests help identify any needed technological and administrative improvements to the systems.

During the test, radios and televisions across the country may interrupt normal programming to play the EAS test message. The message may be delivered in English or Spanish.

The message will say:

“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. No action is required.”

The WEA test will be directed only to consumer cell phones where the person has opted-in to receive test messages, which will be in either English or Spanish, depending on the device’s language settings.

This week’s testing will be the sixth test of the nationwide public alert and warning systems and has been planned since June 2020. according to FEMA.

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