Phones Will Blare National Alert System Test on October 4 at 12:20 PM MST
Written by Jessi Entel on October 3, 2023
There will be a nation wide emergency alert test being conducted on Wednesday, October 4 at 12:20 p.m. MST. These notifications are being sent from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Radios and televisions will also be tested to ensure the system is ready to be used while preparing the community to be familiar to these notices.
The portion of the test related to cell phones will assess the Wireless Emergency Alerts across the country. This is the same system used for sending Amber Alerts, but it can also broadcast signals for imminent threats, public safety and presidential notices. The Wireless Emergency Alert’s test will use FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System known as IPAWS. This is a centralized internet-based system that can broadcast emergency notices through multiple communication networks.
Around 12:20 p.m. MST, cell phone users will receive a notification that reads, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” Spanish users will receive a message that reads, “ESTA ES UNA PRUEBA del Sistema Nacional de Alerta de Emergencia. No se necesita acción.”
The message will also be accompanied by a “unique tone and vibration” no matter if your phone is set to silent or not.
Based on past testing, the message can be described as “a jarring and obnoxious alarm that will immediately make you stop what you’re doing, utter select obscenities and pick up your phone to make it stop.”
The cell phone portion of the testing is expected to last 30 minutes, but you should be able to dismiss the message notification and quiet your phone as soon as you receive the message.
For the radio and television portion of the test, the assessment is scheduled to happen simultaneously nationwide, making this the seventh EAS test the U.S. has done.
In the extremely rare and unlikely event that there is an actual emergency at 12:20 p.m. MST on Wednesday, October 4, the test will be postponed a week to the following Wednesday, October 11.