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Wednesday, Jun. 19, 2024

National EAS test coming on Wednesday

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

At approximately 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, October 4, all radios, televisions and cell phones will show or receive a emegency alert message but don’t worry – it’s only a test.

FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) that day.

Van Wert County EMA Director Rick McCoy explains how next Wednesday’s EAS test will work. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

The national test will consist of two portions, testing WEA and EAS capabilities. Both tests are scheduled to begin at approximately 2:20 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Oct. 4.

“This will be the first time it’s done this particular way,” Van Wert County EMA Director Rick McCoy said earlier this week. “It used to be called the Presidential Emergency Alert, where presidents would activate all alerts nationwide in the event of a nuclear attack or a large disaster. They renamed it to the nationwide emergency test.”

“At 2:20 p.m. next Wednesday, they will be activating the alert to every cell phone within the United States so your tone is going to go off,” he continued. “It will be similar to what you hear during an Amber alert, but my understanding is this tone is going to sound just a little bit different. Shortly thereafter, they will be testing Sirius (satellite) radio, all AM/FM radio stations, all cable and all regular TV stations throughout the nation, and that will be a different type of test.”

“It’s going to say ‘this is a test of the national Wireless Emergency Alert system, no action is needed,’ and that will happen at 2:20. When they do the next test over radio and television, it’s going to say ‘this is a national test of the Emergency Alert System issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency covering the United States…this is only a test, no action is required by the public.’”

The WEA portion of the test will be the third nationwide test, but the second test to all cellular devices.

The EAS portion of the test that will be sent to radios and televisions will be the seventh nationwide EAS test.

According to FEMA, the purpose of the October 4 test is to ensure that the systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level. In case the test is postponed due to widespread severe weather or other significant events, the back-up testing date will be October 11.

POSTED: 09/29/23 at 3:45 am. FILED UNDER: News