FEMA, FCC to conduct national emergency alert test Wednesday

FEMA, FCC to conduct national emergency alert test Wednesday
Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 6:04 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 3, 2023 at 9:16 PM CDT

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - At approximately 1:20 pm central time Wednesday, every TV, radio, and cellphone will sound the alarm to test the national emergency alert system and the wireless emergency alerts.

“It allows your local, state, and federal jurisdictions to get information out quickly to the masses. So, if there is any large scale disaster, I mean even if we had one in Smith County we could send one out,” said Smith County Emergency Management coordinator Brandon Moore.

Moore said the test is similar to the local alert tests we receive monthly, but on a national scale.

The test is scheduled to last for about one minute on televisions and radios with a message that will read: “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.”

But cellphones and other mobile devices will only receive the message once that will state: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

“If you speak a language other than English and you have your phone set to another language, it will automatically come through as a translated message,” said Moore.

A back up test is scheduled for October 11 in case Wednesday’s test is postponed due to widespread severe weather or a significant event.

Moore said, “It is just a test. I mean it will come through as ‘it is just a test’ so there’s nothing to be concerned about. Just read the message and go on about your day and make sure everything works.”

The last national test was in 20-21, since FEMA is required by law to conduct a test once every three years.