Nationwide test of Emergency Alert System happening this afternoon

Wednesday, October 4th, there will be a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) at around 1:20 p.m.

Today is also the first Wednesday of the month which means the tornado sirens will sound as well.

Federal rules require all EAS participants to engage in testing. This includes radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio, television providers, and wireline video providers.

Cell towers will also broadcast the test message for 30 minutes. Unlike the previous test, which was delivered to users who opted-in to receive test messages, this year’s test message will be sent to all compatible cell phones that are in range of cellular service. The message will be delivered using a unique tone and vibration. It will read: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” This is the third national WEA test.

After the test, FEMA will have a targeted survey for selected participants. The survey participants have been notified and will provide their feedback on the test to help FEMA capture information about the reach of the WEA alert message. Results of the survey will help FEMA and other WEA stakeholders, including the FCC, Wisconsin Emergency Management, and public safety officials, to enhance and expand WEA even further.

This test is being lead by the Federal Emergency Management Agency along with the Federal Communications Commission.