The electronic devices that make up a large part of our lives will be a little busier than usual this week.

Wednesday (October 4), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (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).

The national test will be divided into two portions, testing WEA and EAS capabilities, at approximately 1:20 PM, Central Time, that afternoon.


The WEA test will be directed to all consumer cell phones. This will be only the second time in history that this test has gone out to all cellular devices in the country. The message 'THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed' will be displayed on your device.

The seventh-ever EAS test will be sent to radios and televisions. It will read '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'.

The purpose of the tests is to ensure that the systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level.

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