Get Ready For A Nationwide Test Of The Emergency Alert System
For the most part, we think that most people will agree with this statement: technology is a good thing. All of the technological advances that we've seen over the last few years have done wonders to improve the lives of people all over the world.
Thanks to computers, the internet, and smartphones, we have the literal world at our fingertips and we've been able to connect with each other in ways that you couldn't even imagine 20 years ago.
Being that we now live in such a connected, always-on world, that also means that news and information spread at lightening speeds, and to ensure that the government can let people know critical updates in case of a widespread emergency, several federal agencies are going to do a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).
What Are Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts?
Believe it or not, if you have watched TV or listened to the radio for any length of time, then you likely already know what the Emergency Alert System is and you've heard local tests of the EAS.
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.
-Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) & Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
According to the FCC, the EAS system is a national public warning system commonly used by state and local authorities to deliver important emergency information, such as weather and AMBER alerts, to affected communities.
All broadcast mediums in the country, like TV, Radio, Cable Systems, etc. are required to make their airways available to the President of the United States in case of a national emergency.
The Wireless Emergency Alerts system is similar to the Emergency Alert System, except it applies to wireless devices in the nation.
When Are The Nationwide EAS & WEA Tests Happening?
In a joint notice released by FEMA and The FCC, there is going to be a nationwide test of these systems.
The nationwide test, which is scheduled for Wednesday, October 4, 2023, will involve every single wireless device, radio station, TV station, and other broadcaster to ensure that the systems are working properly.
The test, will happen between 2:20 pm and 2:50 pm Eastern Time and occur in 2 parts:
- Part 1: All radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers will play a message that says: “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."
- Part 2: All wireless devices will receive a message that says: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”, or “ESTA ES UNA PRUEBA del Sistema Nacional de Alerta de Emergencia. No se necesita acción.”
If for some reason the tests have to be postponed, they will be rescheduled for 7 days later on October 11, 2023.