A nationwide emergency alert will be sent to all U.S. cellphones, TVs and radios this Wednesday (4 October).
This is the third nationwide wireless alert systems test and the seventh nationwide emergency alert systems test.
The test of the national alert system is mandated to happen once every three years.
It’s a joint operation between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission.
The aim is to “ensure that the systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level,” according to a news release from FEMA.
It will ensure Americans are informed and prepared for potential emergencies.
The message will be sent to all devices at 2:20 p.m. ET.
According to a statement by FEMA, the message to phones will read:
“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
Depending on your language settings, the message might also pop up in Spanish.
The message sent to televisions and radios will differ slightly.
It will say: “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.”
To ensure that the alert has accessibility for all, including those with disabilities, it will be accompanied by a distinctive tone and vibration.
The systems being tested are mainly used in the US to inform citizens about severe weather conditions, safety threats or missing children.
The system can also send alerts from the U.S. president.
The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) will direct text messages to all consumer cellphones.
They must be switched on and within range of an active cell tower from a participating wireless provider.
Transmitted for 30 minutes, the message will only be sent once to each phone.
The second part of the test is the Emergency Alert System, which will send test messages to all radios and televisions.
The test will last one minute.
TikToker Noah Glenn Carter urged his eight million followers to spread the news about the impending alert.
He said it would sound a lot like “The Purge” and warned people to avoid “freaking out”.
You can find more information here.