Test Messages Will be Sent to All TVs, Radios and Cell Phones
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) this fall.
When is the test?The national test is scheduled to begin at approximately 2:20 pm ET (1:20 pm in Coralville) on Wednesday, October 4, 2023. In case the October 4 test is postponed due to widespread severe weather or other significant events, the back-up testing date is October 11.
Why is there a test?The purpose of the October 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.
Who is conducting the 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 following can be expected from the nationwide WEA test directed to all consumer cell phones:
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 vibration.
Important information about the EAS test sent to radios and televisions:
About the testThe 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).
See FEMA press release