FEMA emergency alert test scheduled for Wednesday

    A wireless emergency alert will be sent to all compatible cell phones on Oct. 3, 2018. It's a way for FEMA to test its emergency alert system. (Photo courtesy: FEMA)

    (WHAM) - Be ready to get an alert from the government on your phone Wednesday afternoon.

    FEMA has set Wednesday, October 3 as a date for the test of the National Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS).

    Starting at 2:18 p.m. EDT, the test message will be sent to cell phones that are connected to wireless providers. The EAS alert will be issued at 2:20 p.m. EDT over radio and TV broadcasts.

    The message on phones and mobile devices will have a header stating "Presidential Alert" and read: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” The alert will have the same tone as an AMBER Alert message.

    The message on radio and TV broadcasts 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.”

    The test had originally been planned for September 20, but was rescheduled due to FEMA response efforts to Hurricane Florence.

    This is the fourth test for the EAS alert, but the first for the WEA test message.

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