BREAKING NEWS: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), postponed a nationwide test of the emergency alert system (EAS) and wireless emergency alerts (WEA) until Oct. 3.
The WEA test message will have a header that reads “Presidential Alert” and text that says: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. 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. The national test will use the same special tone and vibration as with all WEA messages (i.e. Tornado Warning, AMBER Alert). Users cannot opt out of receiving the WEA test.
The delay from the original Sept. 20 date is because of ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence. The WEA portion of the test will commence at 2:18 p.m. EDT, and the EAS portion will follow 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 improvements are needed.
Oct. 3 was the previously scheduled backup date for the test. A backup date is always planned in case of widespread severe weather or other significant events on the primary test date.
For further information on the test, go to https://www.fema.gov/emergency-alert-test.