"THIS IS A TEST. THIS IS ONLY A TEST."
FEMA, in coordination with the FCC, will conduct a national test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), known as the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), to be held on Thursday, September 20, 2018. These systems are designed to alert the public of emergencies and provide a method for the President to message the nation during a national emergency or threat.
The WEA test will begin at 2:18pm and cellphones will receive a Presidential Alert through a text message which will read, "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed."
Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency Director Peter Gaynor would like citizens to be aware of the test to prevent unnecessary worry when the alert sounds. "The test will assess readiness to distribute emergency messages nationwide and determine whether improvements are needed. Residents should not be alarmed."
This is the first nationwide WEA test. There is no requirement for a person to sign up to receive WEA alerts. More than 100 carriers participate in the WEA program.
They are also testing the EAS. That test will begin at 2:20pm and will last approximately one minute. The EAS test message is distributed to radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers.
The EAS message will read: "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 cellphones nationwide. Some cells will receive the message; others will not. No action is required." The test messages will be sent via IPAWS which enables authorities to send emergency messages through multiple networks.
For more information, please visit: https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2018/07/23/nationwide-test-emergency-alert-system-be-conducted-september-20-2018