Nationwide Emergency Alert System Test Rescheduled to October 3


For Immediate Release

September 17, 2018


Nationwide Emergency Alert System Test Rescheduled to October 3

The Nationwide Emergency Alert System test was originally scheduled for September 20, 2018, but has been rescheduled due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence. 


“The Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) in partnership with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct a mandatory nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) on Wednesday, October 3, 2018.  The WEA test message will be sent on October 3rd at 1:18 p.m. CDT and the EAS test message will be sent at 1:20 p.m. CDT” said Dale Lane, Director Shelby County Office of Preparedness. FEMA will conduct the test with the FCC and the National Weather Service. Broadcast TV, radio, cable, satellite, wireline video, and other service providers will participate.

Emergency Alert System (EAS) Test:


 The EAS test message is distributed to radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television and wireline video providers.  The test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar and interrupts programming for approximately one minute. The wording will be similar to the monthly EAS test message:


 This is a Test of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency, an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. A similar Wireless Emergency Alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not. No action is required.The public should receive both audio and on-screen text conveying “This is only a test.”


Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) Test:


WEA is a free public safety system that allows customers with wireless phones and other compatible mobile devices to receive geographically-targeted, text-like messages alerting them of imminent threats to safety in their area. Cell towers will broadcast the WEA test message for approximately 30 minutes beginning at 1:18 p.m. CST. Cell phones should receive the message only once, and will use the same special tone and vibration as with all WEA messages (e.g. tornado warnings and AMBER Alerts).


The WEA test message will be a Presidential Alert and will read:


THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”


The tests will evaluate the ability of emergency officials to send emergency information while ensuring EAS and WEA effective.                                                   

End of Release