On Wednesday, October 4, 2023, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct a nationwide emergency alert test of the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system. The WEA system is used to send alerts to mobile devices about dangerous weather, missing children, and other situations that require immediate attention.
The test will take place at 2:20 PM Eastern Time (ET). When the test is activated, all mobile devices in the United States will receive a loud alert sound and a pop-up message that says: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” The message will also be in Spanish if your phone’s language settings are set to Spanish.
The test will not interrupt your phone service. You will still be able to make and receive calls and send and receive text messages during the test.
The test is being conducted to ensure that the WEA system is working properly and that alerts are being sent out quickly and efficiently. The WEA system is a critical tool for keeping the public safe during emergencies, and it’s important to make sure that it’s working as intended.
What to do if you receive the test alert
There is nothing you need to do if you receive the test alert. Simply ignore the alert and continue with your day.
How to prepare for an emergency
While the nationwide emergency alert test is just a test, it’s a good reminder to be prepared for real emergencies. Here are some tips:
- Have a plan in place and know what to do in case of different types of emergencies, such as fires, tornadoes, and hurricanes.
- Keep an emergency kit stocked with food, water, and other supplies.
- Be aware of your surroundings and listen for alerts from local authorities.
- If you are in danger, call 911.
Additional information about the WEA system
The WEA system is a nationwide system that sends alerts to mobile devices about dangerous weather, missing children, and other situations that require immediate attention. Alerts are sent to all mobile devices in a geographic area, regardless of carrier or service plan.
The WEA system is free to use, and there is no need to sign up for it. All mobile devices in the United States are automatically enrolled in the system.
To learn more about the WEA system, visit the FEMA website or call the FEMA helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).