The FCC and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will test the Emergency Alert Wireless System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) on Aug. 11.
The tests are being conducted to ensure that the systems will deliver messages as intended during true emergencies.
Both tests will start at 2:20 p.m. EST unless extreme weather in parts of the country makes it impossible to conduct the tests at that time. If that is the case, the tests will be delayed for two weeks. The FCC has conducted similar tests in the past.
The WEA tests will go only to select cell phones that have elected to receive such messages. The messages will be displayed in English or Spanish, depending on the cell phone’s settings.
FEMA will use its Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), a centralized internet-based system to send authenticated emergency messages to the public through multiple communications networks for the WEA test, according to a press release.
The WEA message will read: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
The alerts are accompanied by a unique tone and vibration for people with disabilities.
Wireless devices should receive the message only once.
The EAS test will go to radios and televisions.
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. No action is required.”