HEADS UP: There will be a nationwide alert that will go off on all cell phones Wednesday afternoon. But before you go into a frantic, panic-induced meltdown, worrying that the world is about to end… relax. It’s only a test.
CNN reports that the federal government will conduct a nationwide test of its Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts at 2:20 PM ET on Wednesday, October 4. The EAS will send an alert to all radios and TVs, while the WEA alerts will go on all consumer cell phones.
The alert will have an accompanying text message that reads the following:
“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
“The purpose of the Oct. 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,” according to a statement by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which is conducting the test with the FCC.
More from CNN:
The test will be broadcast by cell towers for approximately 30 minutes beginning at 2:20 pm ET, FEMA said. During this time, all compatible wireless phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless providers participates in WEA tests should receive the text message.
Meanwhile, all radios and televisions will also broadcast a test emergency alert at the same time as part of the broader test. This message, which will run for approximately one minute, will state: “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.”
As the agency has said, no action is required by you after you receive the emergency alert test on your phone or hear it through the radio or TV.
Wednesday’s test will be the seventh-ever nationwide test of the EAS. It will also be the third-overall national test of the WEA, but second test to be sent to consumers’ phones.
So, as much as we may not like the idea of the government meddling with our phones as is, this is definitely a necessary test.
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