Modified: October 2, 2023 12:18pm

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (“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”) on Wednesday, October 4, 2023. 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.


The WEA portion of the test will be directed to all consumer cell phones.  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.


All wireless phones should receive the message only once.


“Everyone should be aware of these upcoming systems’ tests and understand what they are intended to do. These are the communication platforms that Erie County will be using if a significant weather event is forecast or is striking the area,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “Tests such as these help to familiarize people with the emergency systems and make it more likely that they will respond appropriately to such messaging in the event of an emergency.”


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.”



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.”





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