COLUMBUS – 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 Alert (WEA) on Wednesday, October 4, 2023, beginning at 2:20 p.m. The national test will consist of two portions, testing WEA and EAS capabilities to ensure that the systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level.
The WEA portion of the test will be sent through the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS), a centralized internet-based system administered by FEMA that enables authorities to send authenticated emergency messages to the public through multiple communications networks. The alerts are sent to participating wireless providers, which deliver the alerts to compatible handsets in geo-targeted areas. 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. The national WEA test will use the same tone and vibration. The test message will display “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
"Validating the reliability and effectiveness of the national emergency alert system is essential to ensuring our community remains safe," said Jeffrey J. Young, Director of Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security. " I would like to remind residents that this is only a test, and they should not be alarmed when they receive the alert on their cellular devices".
The EAS portion of the test will 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 like 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.
FEMA has set October 11, 2023, as secondary test date if test is postponed due to widespread severe weather or other significant events.