Don’t be surprised if you get an emergency alert on your cell phone or television on Wednesday, October 4. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are planning a nationwide emergency alert test that day. Test messages will be sent to all TVs, radios and cell phones. The messages will test the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). Both tests are scheduled to begin at about 2:20 p.m. Eastern Time (11:20 a.m. Pacific). The WEA part of the test will be directed to all consumer cell phones in either English or Spanish. The EAS part of the test will be sent to radios and televisions.
The purpose of the test is to ensure that these systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level. In the event the October 4 test is postponed due to widespread severe weather or other significant events, the back-up test date is October 11.