A barrage of emergency alerts are headed for electronic devices across the country Wednesday, as part of a national test orchestrated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Communications Commission.
The test, scheduled to begin at 2:20 p.m. ET, will see messages distributed to all TVs, radios and cellphones in an effort to ensure the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts are operating effectively.
Wireless phones should only receive one message during the test, an alert that reads, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
IMPORTANT: On Wednesday, Oct. 4th at 2:20 p.m. ET, there will be a nationwide emergency alert test on cell phones, wireless devices, radios, and TVs.
This is a standard test that occurs at least once every three years. No action is needed.
Depending on the individual cellphone settings, the message could also display in Spanish.
According to a FEMA fact sheet, “tones and vibration” will also accompany the alert, though they’re not supposed to interrupt a phone call.
FEMA stressed that the test will not gather any private data, nor can it monitor, locate or lock anyone’s phones.
Similar messages will also be broadcast on radio and television, where tests are a more familiar occurrence.