Nationwide test alert to be held on October 4

The New York Times indicates the Federal Communications Commission and FEMA will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts on Wednesday, October 4. The purpose of the nationwide test is to make sure alert systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those that have a national impact. The test will consist of two portions, testing Wireless Emergency Alerts (WES) and Emergency Alert System (EAS) capabilities beginning at 2:20 PM eastern time. The WEA portion of the test will be directed to all cell phones, while the EAS portion of the test will be sent to radios and televisions. During the testing, cell towers will broadcast the test for approximately 30 minutes. While a message will appear on your phone reading, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” If the October 4 test is postponed due to widespread severe weather or other significant events, the back-up testing date is October 11.