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Nationwide Emergency Alert System Test to Take Place on Wednesday Through Mobile Devices and Cable Television

by Michael Nguyen
6 comments
Nationwide Emergency Alert Test

“THIS IS ONLY A TEST”: Should you possess a mobile phone or be tuned in to your television this Wednesday, you will encounter this advisory message. This is part of a federal initiative to evaluate the effectiveness of its Integrated Public Alert and Warning System.

The system disseminates critical alerts through two key methods: the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts. The former is a national warning mechanism intended to enable the President of the United States to address the citizenry within 10 minutes during a national crisis, primarily through traditional broadcast mediums like radio and television. The latter, Wireless Emergency Alerts, are concise notifications, restricted to 360 characters, transmitted directly to mobile devices to disseminate crucial information.

Though such alerts are commonly deployed for localized warnings such as natural disasters like tornadoes, the upcoming test is unique in that it will be nationwide.

Scheduled to commence at 2:20 p.m. Eastern Time, mobile phone users in the United States whose devices are powered on will receive a test alert reading: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” The alert will be accompanied by an audible signal and a vibration on the device.

For customers who have set their devices to operate in Spanish, the notification will be delivered in that language.

The testing period will unfold over a span of 30 minutes, beginning at 2:20 p.m. Recipients will receive the alert message only once. Should their devices be switched off at the initial time and powered back within that half-hour window, the alert will be received upon reactivation. Devices turned on post the 30-minute window will not receive the alert.

Simultaneously, those who are viewing broadcast or cable television, or listening to the radio will be exposed to a 60-second message that articulates: “This is a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, covering the United States from 14:20 to 14:50 hours ET. This is only a test. No action is required by the public.”

By federal statute, it is mandatory for these systems to undergo testing at a minimum interval of every three years. The most recent such nationwide test was conducted on August 11, 2021.

In light of the impending test, there have been unfounded speculations on social media suggesting the test is a guise for activating nanoparticles like graphene oxide in human bodies. Authorities and experts, including those from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, have categorically debunked these claims. However, some individuals on social media platforms have indicated they will deactivate their mobile phones for the duration of the test.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Emergency Alert System Test

What is the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System?

The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System is a federal initiative designed to disseminate important alerts and warnings to the American public. It operates through two primary channels: the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts.

When is the nationwide test scheduled to take place?

The test is slated for Wednesday and will commence at 2:20 p.m. Eastern Time. It will unfold over a 30-minute window.

What kind of alert will mobile phone users receive?

Mobile phone users in the United States will receive a text message that reads: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” The message will be accompanied by an audible signal and a vibration.

How are television and radio involved in this test?

People watching broadcast or cable television, or listening to radio will hear and see a 60-second message: “This is a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This is only a test. No action is required by the public.”

Is it mandatory for these systems to be tested?

Yes, federal law mandates that these alert systems be tested at least once every three years. The most recent nationwide test was on August 11, 2021.

Will the alert be available in languages other than English?

Yes, for customers who have set their mobile devices to operate in Spanish, the notification will be delivered in that language.

What happens if my phone is turned off during the test?

If your phone is turned off at 2:20 p.m. and then turned on within the next 30 minutes, you will receive the test alert upon reactivation. If the device is powered on after the 30-minute window, the alert will not be received.

Have there been any false claims regarding the purpose of the test?

Yes, there have been unfounded claims circulating on social media that suggest the test is a scheme for activating nanoparticles like graphene oxide in human bodies. Federal Emergency Management Agency officials and experts have dismissed these allegations.

More about Emergency Alert System Test

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency: Emergency Alert System
  • U.S. Government: Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Overview
  • Federal Communications Commission: Emergency Alert System & Wireless Emergency Alerts
  • National Association of Broadcasters: Emergency Alert System Guidelines
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Public Warning and Notification Systems
  • Snopes: Debunking False Claims About the Nationwide Emergency Alert Test

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6 comments

ConspiracyTheorist October 4, 2023 - 2:17 am

Anyone else think this is just too convenient? They say it’s a test, but who knows.

Reply
EmilyInFinance October 4, 2023 - 2:52 am

So they’ll actually send a text to everyone in the US? That’s some serious infrastructure there.

Reply
Sarah_M October 4, 2023 - 7:38 am

I’m def turning my phone off lol. Don’t wanna get freaked out by that sudden alert.

Reply
TechGuru99 October 4, 2023 - 4:19 pm

interesting to see how they’re required to test this every 3 yrs. kinda makes you wonder what would happen in a real emergency situation.

Reply
JohnDoe October 4, 2023 - 4:51 pm

Wow, didn’t know the test was nationwide. Guess it’s good they’re making sure everything works, right?

Reply
Realist_321 October 4, 2023 - 7:15 pm

Finally, someone debunked that ridiculous nanoparticle rumor. Some people will believe anything.

Reply

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