Nationwide Wireless Emergency Alert Test Today

THE DELTA (Ben Caxton) — If your cell phone is switched on, and you’re within range of an active cell tower this afternoon, stand-by to receive a message from the President of the United States of America. At 1:18 PM Wednesday the Federal Emergency Management Agency in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission will be conducting nationwide tests of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alert. The WEA test message will read “This is a test of the National Wireless Emergency Alert system. No action is needed.” FEMA says the test will assess the operational readiness of infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed. A second test of the national Emergency Alert System, the kind that typically appears on TV and radio, will follow 2 minutes later. A Presidential Alert is meant for use in a national emergency and is the only type of wireless emergency alert that can be sent nationwide by FEMA. Individuals can opt out of ordinary emergency alerts, like Amber Alerts or extreme weather notifications but that’s not an option for Presidential Alerts which would be sent in the event of a major national emergency, such as a mass terrorism event. The test was originally scheduled for September 20 but was moved due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence.


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