On Wednesday, the federal government will be conducting a test of its emergency alert system, known as the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). This system utilizes both the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) to notify people about various emergencies.
The EAS is a nationwide public warning system that allows the president to address the American people within 10 minutes during a national emergency through designated outlets like radio and television. On the other hand, WEA delivers short messages, limited to 360 characters or less, directly to mobile phones to provide important information to their owners.
Although these alerts are typically used in specific regions to warn individuals about localized threats such as tornadoes, Wednesday’s test will be conducted across the entire country. The test is scheduled to begin at 2:20 p.m. Eastern time, during which wireless phone users in the United States will receive a message stating: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” The message will be accompanied by a distinct noise and vibrating phone.
For customers whose phones are set to the Spanish language, the message will be delivered in Spanish.
This nationwide test serves as a crucial measure to ensure the effectiveness and reliability of the emergency alert system, providing people with timely and vital information in times of need.
Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has scheduled a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System. This test is mandated by federal law and is conducted to ensure the effectiveness of the system. The upcoming test will take place over a 30-minute window, starting at 2:20 p.m. ET.
Mobile phone owners will receive the test message only if their phones are turned on during the designated time frame. If their phones are turned off at 2:20 p.m. and then turned on within the next 30 minutes, they will receive the message upon powering their phones back on. However, if they turn on their phones after the 30 minutes have expired, they will not receive the message.
In addition to the mobile alert, a one-minute message will be broadcasted on television, radio, and cable channels. This message, issued by FEMA, will clearly state that it is a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System. It will reassure the public that no action is required on their part.
The test is a routine procedure that takes place once every three years to ensure the system’s readiness. The most recent nationwide test occurred on August 11, 2021.
Rest assured, the upcoming nationwide test is solely intended to evaluate and enhance our emergency alert system. Your cooperation and understanding are greatly appreciated as we work towards ensuring the safety and well-being of all citizens.
Remember, this is only a test.