- The nationwide alert will take place at approximately 2:20pm ET today
- Alerts will be sent to smartphones, televisions and over the radio
- Americans will see a message and hear a ‘unique tone’ during the drill
- READ MORE: The purpose of the test is to warn the public about emergencies
Every US smartphone, television and radio will receive an alert on Wednesday as part of a nationwide test for an emergency alert system.
‘This is a test’ will flash across screens as the federal government tests its alert system to tell people about emergencies.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Federal Communication Commission (FCC) are set to conduct the drill at 2:20 pm ET.
All wireless phones should receive the message only once, and cell towers will broadcast the test for approximately 30 minutes.
Every US smartphone, television and radio will receive an alert on Wednesday as part of a nationwide test for an emergency alert system
The planned test was first conducted in 2012 and has since been used around 84,000 times across the US to warn the public about missing children, natural disasters and other emergencies.
The national test will consist of two portions: testing Wireless Emergency Alerts (WAS) and Emergency Alert System (EAS) capabilities.
The WEA portion of the test will be directed to all consumer cell phones, and the EAS portion of the test will be sent to radios and televisions.
FEMA officials said the WEA test will be administered via a code sent to cell phones.
Wireless phone customers in the United States whose phones are on will get a message saying: ‘THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.’
The incoming message will also make a noise, and the phone should vibrate.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Federal Communication Commission (FCC) are set to conduct the drill at 2:20 pm ET, accompanied by a ‘unique tone and vibration’
Phones that have their main menu set to Spanish will display: ‘ESTA ES UNA PRUEBA del Sistema Nacional de Alerta de Emergencia. No se necesita acción.’
According to the authorities, this will be the seventh nationwide EAS test.
This test is scheduled to last approximately one minute.
According to FEMA, it will be conducted with the participation of radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers.
People watching broadcasts on cable television or listening to the radio will hear and see a message lasting one minute: ‘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.’
Federal law requires the systems be tested at least once every three years. The last nationwide test was on August 11, 2021.