FEMA to Test Emergency Alert System Thursday Sept 20, 2018.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will conduct a nationwide Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) test to assess national warning capabilities, said Craig Tanis, Lenawee County emergency management coordinator. The test will start at 2:18 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20. It will be the first nationwide WEA test and will use the "presidential alerts" category.
The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed. The WEA test message will be sent to cellphones that are connected to wireless providers participating in WEA.
Cell towers will broadcast the WEA test for approximately 30 minutes beginning at 2:18 p.m. During this time, WEA-compatible cellphones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless carrier participates in WEA should be capable of receiving the test message. Some cellphones will not receive the test message, and cellphones should only receive the message once. The WEA test message will have a header that reads "Presidential Alert" and text that reads: "This is a test of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed."
The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children and other critical situations through alerts on cellphones. Users cannot opt out of the WEA test.
The EAS is a national public warning system that provides the president with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency. The test is made available to EAS participants, such as radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers, and is scheduled to last approximately one minute.
In the event of severe weather or any other emergency, the backup date for the test will be Oct. 3.
This information is curtesy of “Government Technology Magazine” website www.govtech.com