Nationwide test will be sent to all cellphones, TVs, and radios today

This afternoon — Wednesday, October 4 — a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) will be conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

The test is scheduled to take place at 1:20 p.m. Central.

All consumer cellphones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates in WEA, should receive an alert during the test that reads: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

Wireless phones should receive the message only once.

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, and satellite radio. The test message will be similar to the regular EAS test messages that already occur monthly, and 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 public.”

The purpose of the test is to ensure that the systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level. The last nationwide test was conducted in 2018.

In the event the October 4 test is postponed due to widespread severe weather or other significant events, a backup test date is scheduled for the following Wednesday, October 11.