A representative for the Federal Emergency Management Agency has confirmed to GWES dates for a national test of both the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts.
The live test of both systems is planned to take place on October 4, with a backup test date of October 11, pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission.
The WEA test will be originated at 2:18 p.m. ET, with it’s EAS counterpart originating at 2:20 p.m. ET.
“FEMA proposes to conduct this test in October following National Preparedness Month,” FEMA stated in it’s request to the FCC.
The message on cellular devices will read: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
Should the request from FEMA be approved, this will be the third nationwide test of WEA and the seventh test of the EAS.
This year, the test will be originated through the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS). A law passed in 2015 requires FEMA to conduct nationwide tests.
Since the test will be originated through IPAWS, it will be sent to radio and television stations throughout the country as a Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) message.
The audio and text of the EAS alert will be presented as:
“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.”
After both tests are conducted, FEMA will gather information through a public survey on the geographic reach of the alerts. FEMA says this will help them, along with the FCC, enhance and expand the system, and improve emergency alerting capabilities.