FEMA plans nationwide emergency phone message test for Wednesday, Oct. 3

Yolanda Curtis
October 2, 2018

"No action is needed", officials said.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the test will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 3.

"THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".

According to FEMA, the alert is not a text or SMS (short message service) but an audio and text warning that will display as a notification across a user's cell phone - similar to the ones carriers receive during AMBER alerts and weather emergencies. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message.

Because this is a Presidential Alert, cellphone users can not opt out of receiving Wednesday's test, per FEMA.

The alert was initially scheduled to occur Thursday, September 20, but the test was postponed because of Hurricane Florence.

The test message will be a "Presidential Alert" and you cannot opt out of these WEA alerts. Your phone may even make a loud noise that you aren't used to hearing.

FEMA will also run a test of its Emergency Alert System (EAS) for radio and television broadcasters the same day, beginning two minutes after the WEA test.

Cell phones that are turned on and within the range of an active cell tower are expected to receive the message. But that idea was dismissed by federal officials, who say the system has safeguards in place and is meant to notify Americans in hazardous situations including terrorism, war, or natural disasters.

Get ready for a lot of simultaneous phones going off at the office tomorrow afternoon.

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