National cell phone, broadcast alert tests set for Sept. 20
LUXEMBURG — The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) on Thursday, Sept. 20, according to a press release from the Kewaunee County Emergency Management Department.
The wireless test is scheduled to take place at 1:18 p.m., followed by the EAS test at 1:20 p.m. The backup date for these tests is Oct. 3.
"The test is intended to ensure public safety officials have the methods and system that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public in times of an emergency or disaster" on a national level, the release said.
It is the first national WEA test, for emergency messages sent to cell phones, and the fourth nationwide EAS test.
WEA is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children and other critical situations through alert on cell phones. The test will be sent through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System as part of the infrastructure that automatically authenticates alerts.
Customers of wireless providers who participate in WEA and own a compatible wireless phone can receive targeted alerts of imminent threats to safety in their area through unique tones and vibrations. The national WEA test will use the same special tones and vibrations.
The WEA test message will read, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
The EAS test is scheduled to last one minute on participating radio and television stations, including satellite radio and TV, and wireline video providers.
This test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages: “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.”
For more information about wireless emergency alerts, visit www.ready.gov/alerts.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: National cell phone, broadcast alert tests set for Sept. 20