The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alerts System and Wireless Emergency Alert System on October 3, 2018.
The test will assess the readiness to distribute an emergency message nationwide and determine whether improvements are needed.
• Sending the WEA test message will begin at 12:18 p.m. MST.
• This will be the first nationwide Presidential-level WEA test and cannot be opted out.
Cell towers will broadcast the WEA test for approximately 30 minutes beginning at 2:18 p.m. EDT. During this time, WEA-compatible cell phones that are switched on and within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless carrier participates in WEA, should be capable of receiving the test message. Cell phones should
receive the message only once.
The WEA test message will be a Presidential Alert and will read:
“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
WEA messages are sent by public safety officials to warn the public about dangerous situations in other critical emergencies. The national test will use the same special tone and vibration as with all WEA messages (e.g. tornado warnings and AMBER Alerts).
Example of a cell phone displaying the WEA test message Emergency Alert System (EAS) Test
The EAS test message is distributed to radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers.
The test message is similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar and interrupts programming for approximately one minute.
The EAS message will read: “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. A similar Wireless Emergency Alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not. No action is required.”