Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) National Test, October 3, 2018
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 Alert (WEA) system on October 3, 2018.
The test will assess the readiness to distribute an emergency message nationwide and determine whether improvements are needed.
The test messages will be sent using FEMA's IPAWS, which enables authorities to send emergency messages to multiple communications networks, including the EAS and WEA as part of the nation's modern alert and warning infrastructure.
Sending the WEA test message will begin at 1:18 p.m. CDT. The EAS message will be sent at 1:20 p.m. CDT.
This will be the first nationwide Presidential-level WEA test and cannot be opted out.
Cell towers will broadcast the WEA test for approximately 30 minutes beginning at 1:18 p.m. CDT. During this time, WEA-compatible cell phones that are switched on and within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless carrier participates in WEA, should be capable of receive the test message. Cell phones should receive the message only once. Some cell phones will not receive the test messages.
The WEA test message will be a Presidential Alert and will read:
"THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed."
WEA messages are sent by public safety officials to warn the public about dangerous situations and other critical emergencies. The national test will use the same special tone and vibration as with all WEA messages (e.g. tornado warning and AMBER Alerts).
The EAS test message is distributed to radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers.
The EAS test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar and interrupts programming for approximately one minute.
For more information and answers to frequently asked questions, please see the IPAWS National Test Fact Sheet.