Written by on October 2, 2023

WASHINGTON — FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test
of the Emergency Alert System  (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts
(WEA) on Wednesday, October 4th.
The national test will consist of two portions, testing WEA and EAS
capabilities. Both tests are scheduled to begin at approximately 1:20
p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4.
The WEA portion of the test will be directed to all consumer cell
phones. This will be the third nationwide test, but the second test to
all cellular devices. The test message will display in either English
or in Spanish, depending on the language settings of the wireless
The EAS portion of the test will be sent to radios and televisions.
This will be the seventh nationwide EAS test.
FEMA and the FCC are coordinating with EAS participants, wireless
providers, emergency managers and other stakeholders in preparation
for this national test to minimize confusion and to maximize the
public safety value of the test.
The purpose of the Oct. 4 test is to ensure that the systems continue
to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies,
particularly those on the national level. In case the Oct. 4 test is
postponed due to widespread severe weather or other significant
events, the back-up testing date is Oct. 11.
The WEA portion of the test will be initiated using FEMA’s
Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS)
a centralized internet-based system administered by FEMA that enables
authorities to send authenticated emergency messages to the public
through multiple communications networks. The WEA test will be
administered via a code sent to cell phones.
This year the EAS message will be disseminated as a Common Alerting
Protocol (CAP) message via the Integrated Public Alert and Warning
System-Open Platform for Emergency Networks (IPAWS-OPEN).
All wireless phones should receive the message only once. The
following can be expected from the nationwide WEA test:
* Beginning at approximately 1:20 p.m., cell towers will broadcast
the test for approximately 30 minutes. During this time,
WEA-compatible wireless phones that are switched on, within range of
an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates in WEA,
should be capable of receiving the test message.
* For consumers, the message that appears on their phones will read:
“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No
action is needed.”
* Phones with the main menu set to Spanish will display: “ESTA ES
UNA PRUEBA del Sistema Nacional de Alerta de Emergencia. No se
necesita acción.”
WEA alerts are created and sent by authorized federal, state, local,
tribal and territorial government agencies through IPAWS to
participating wireless providers, which deliver the alerts to
compatible handsets in geo-targeted areas. To help ensure that these
alerts are accessible to the entire public, including people with
disabilities, the alerts are accompanied by a unique tone and
Important information about the EAS test:
* The EAS portion of the test is scheduled to last approximately one
minute and will be conducted with the participation of radio and
television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television
providers and wireline video providers.
* The test message will be similar to the regular monthly EAS test
messages with which the public is familiar. It will state: “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
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