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News - Press Releases

Posted on: September 29, 2023

National Emergency Alert Test Planned for October 4, 2023

Picture of a Communication Tower with EAS Test Written


FEMA and the FCC is planning a Nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System on October 4, 2023, at 2:20pm. Mayor Craig A. Moe and Emergency Manager Christina Cornwell want to share their press release so you can be aware and opt-in to receive emergency text alerts in advance:

“WASHINGTON – FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) this fall.

The national test will consist of two portions, testing WEA and EAS capabilities. Both tests are scheduled to begin at approximately 2:20 p.m. ET on Wednesday, October 4th.

The WEA portion of the test will be directed to all consumer cell phones. This will be the third nationwide test, but the second test to all cellular devices. The test message will display in either English or in Spanish, depending on the language settings of the wireless handset.

The EAS portion of the test will be sent to radios and televisions. This will be the seventh nationwide EAS test.

FEMA and the FCC are coordinating with EAS participants, wireless providers, emergency managers and other stakeholders in preparation for this national test to minimize confusion and to maximize the public safety value of the test.

The purpose of the Oct. 4 test is to ensure that the systems continue to be an effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level. In case the Oct. 4 test is postponed due to widespread severe weather or other significant events, the back-up testing date is October 11th.

All wireless phones should receive the message only once. The following can be expected from the nationwide WEA test:

  • Beginning at approximately 2:20 p.m. ET, cell towers will broadcast the test for approximately 30 minutes. During this time, WEA-compatible wireless phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates in WEA, should be capable of receiving the test message.
  • For consumers, the message that appears on their phones will read: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
  • Phones with the main menu set to Spanish will display: “ESTA ES UNA PRUEBA del Sistema Nacional de Alerta de Emergencia. No se necesita acción.”

To help ensure that these alerts are accessible to the entire public, including people with disabilities, the alerts are accompanied by a unique tone and vibration.

Important information about the EAS test:

  • The EAS portion of the test is scheduled to last approximately one minute and will be conducted with the participation of radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers and wireline video providers.
  • The test message will be similar to the regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar. It 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.”

To turn on Emergency Alerts on your Android phone, follow the directions below:

  • Go to Settings then select Connections.
  • Select More Connection Settings.
  • Select Wireless Emergency Alerts.
  • Hit the three vertical dots in the upper right hand of the screen and select settings.
  • Select Alert Types and from there you can select the types of alerts you want to receive such as AMBER Alerts, Emergency and Public Safety alerts.

To turn on Emergency Alerts on your iPhone, follow the directions below:

  1. Go to Settings, then Notifications.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the screen.
  3. Look for the Government Alerts category, or, in some countries, it's labeled as Emergency Alerts.
  4. Toggle on or off any changes you want.

For more information about Emergency Preparedness or to sign up for City emergency notifications, visit the City’s website at www.cityoflaurel.org/em.

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