This is only a test! Emergency alert scheduled for October 4

cell phone emergency alert
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Your phone can receive emergency alerts to warn you of kidnapped children or severe weather. As long as your phone is on, regardless of if you have it silenced, it will go off with a loud tone guaranteed to get your attention. These alerts are localized and broadcast to certain areas based on relevance. However, an upcoming emergency test will affect everyone in the country.

On August 3, 2023, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and the Wireless Emergency Alerts. The test will take place on Wednesday, October 4, 2023, at approximately 2:20PM ET. In coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, FEMA will broadcast the alerts to all radios, televisions and consumer cell phones.

The October 4 test will ensure that the EAS and WEA systems remain effective options to earn the American public about emergencies, especially on a national level. Such a mass alert needs to be validated to ensure its viability. This is the third nationwide WEA test, but only the second to test all cellular devices. The EAS test has been performed nationwide six times before.

Cell phones should receive just one message during the test. The alert will come in English or Spanish, depending on the language settings of the receiving phone. Cell towers will broadcast the alert for 30 minutes to ensure reception. The message will read, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” Phones set to Spanish will receive an alert reading, “ESTA ES UNA PRUEBA del Sistema Nacional de Alerta Emergencia. No se necesita acción.”

The EAS portion of the test is scheduled to occur at the same time and last approximately one minute. This alert will be more familiar to regular television viewers and radio listeners. It will state, “This is a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, covering the United States from 14:20 to 14:50 hours ET. This is only a test. No action is required by the public.” The alert will be conducted by radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers and wireline video providers.

In case of widespread severe weather or other significant events, the back-up test is scheduled for October 11, 2023. At any rate, if you have a meeting or field exercise on October 4, keep in mind that your phone and everyone else’s around you are going to go off. FEMA did not mention if phones that are turned off during the broadcast will deliver the alert when they are turned back on.