We’re no stranger to the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). How many times have you woken up in the middle of the night to hear the loud alert tones coming through your television, or have gotten a text message alert regarding a national situation?
FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will be conducting a nationwide test of these two systems on Oct. 4. Here’s what you need to know.
When is this test taking place?
Two tests will take place on Oct. 4, starting at 2:20 p.m. ET.
Where will I see the test take place?
The test is taking place in two parts, one for WEA and the other for EAS, and will be sent to devices that are switched on. The WEA portion will be sent to all consumer cell phones, which will be displayed in either English or in Spanish, depending on the language settings of the phone. The EAS alert will be sent to all radios and televisions.
What will the test message say?
It depends on where you see it! If you see the message as a text, it will say “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” If you see it on TV or hear it on the radio, it will say “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.”
How long will the test last?
The test window is only meant to last 30 minutes, but you should only receive one message regarding the test alert. Should an actual emergency take place on the test date, it will be postponed to Oct. 11.
Why are we having a test?
FEMA is required to test these systems, also known as the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), at least once every three years. This will be the seventh test of the EAS system and the second test of the WEA system.
Where does Notify NYC fit into this?
Notify NYC is hoping to take the results of this test and apply them to its own system to provide better services. New Yorkers are invited to complete this which will be available after the test: www.surveymonkey.com/
For more information on the nationwide test, visit FEMA.gov.